A close up of a bat head surrounded by white leather glove.

NPS photo

Mexican Long-tongued Bat
Choeronycteris mexicana)
This migratory, nectar- and pollen-feeding bat depends on plants adapted for bat pollination (like the agave). The Mexican long-tongued bat follows the flowering agave northward during the spring, arriving in Arizona in early summer. The agave gets a pollinator that transports its pollen, while the bat gets a meal of rich nectar and protein-filled pollen. To make it even easier on the bat, the flowers are thrust high into the sky, light colored, and easily spotted at night. The Mexican long-tongued bat, as the name implies, has a long tongue tipped with brush-like projections for lapping nectar.
Body Length: 55-78 mm

Image of a bat flying with a tan body and dark wings.

NPS photo

Lesser Long-nosed Bat
Leptonycteris curasoae
This summer visitor to Saguaro National Park arrives just in time for the flowering of the Saguaro cactus. The lesser long-nosed bat migrates north along the west coast of Mexico, feeding at the flowers of the cardon cactus, organ pipe cactus, and other plants that accommodate bat pollinators. The flowers of these plants have flowers high above the ground; they are lightly-colored, visible at night, and promise a meal of pollen and nectar. Read more about the Lesser Long-nosed Bat here.
Body Length: 69 - 84 mm
Diet: Nectar, pollen, some insects.

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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