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The Mammals of Texas - Online Edition

Mexican Long-tongued Bat
Order Chiroptera : Family Phyllostomidae : Choeronycteris mexicana Tschudi

Mexican Long-tongued Bat (Choeronycteris mexicana).  Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International.Description. A medium-sized bat with a long, slender muzzle and prominent nasal leaf. A minute tail is present and extends less than halfway to the edge of the interfemoral membrane. Color is sooty gray to brownish. Dental formula: I 2/0, C 1/1, Pm 2/3, M 3/3 X 2 = 30. External measurements average: total length, 85 mm; tail, 10 mm; foot, 14 mm; ear, 16 mm; forearm, 44 mm. Weight, 25 g.

Species distribution mapDistribution in Texas. A Mexican species that enters the United States in extreme southern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The single Texas record is from Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Hidalgo County.

Habits. These bats inhabit deep canyons where they use caves and mine tunnels as day roosts. They also have been found in buildings and often are associated with big-eared bats (Plecotus).

C. mexicana feeds on fruit, pollen, nectar, and probably insects. Because of their longer tongue, they may be able to recover nectar from a greater variety of night-blooming plants than the other nectar feeding bat in Texas — Leptonycteris nivalis.

Parturition occurs from June to early July in Arizona and New Mexico with young reported as early as mid-April in Sonora, Mexico. A single young is born per female. One of us (Schmidly) collected a pregnant C. mexicana in May, which gave birth to a young bat shortly after capture, in the San Carlos Mountains of northern Tamaulipas, Mexico, which is no more than 241 km south of Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Pregnant and lactating females have been recorded in March and June in Coahuila, Mexico, to the south of the Texas border.

Photo credit: Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International.