Centurio senexwrinkle-faced bat

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Geographic Range

Centurio senex is a neotropical species found in various Central and South American countries, dependent on the season. These countries include Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the republics of Trinidad and Tobago (Snow et al., 1980).

Habitat

These bats primarily inhabit dense forested areas, either tropical or deciduous, although they are occasionally found in less dense areas (Fenton et al., 1992). Within these forests they live in both moist and dry areas, and from lowlands (Venezuela) to altitudes of 1400 meters (Costa Rica). However, they are most common at altitudes less than 1000 meters (Eisenberg, 1989).

  • Range elevation
    0 to 1400 m
    0.00 to 4593.18 ft

Physical Description

These bats are very peculiar looking, mostly because of the complex folds and flaps of skin around their faces. Folds of naked skin surrounding the nose and mouth of the broad, flat face give the bats a "wrinkled" appearance. Males have additional skin folds on the face which contain scent glands. Wrinkle-faced bats have a total of 28 teeth. Fur coloration ranges from gray to various shades of brown on the body, with a white "beard" around the bottom of the face. The underside of the body is lighter, there is a white spot on each shoulder, and there are white horizontal stripes on the wings that are more noticeable in males (Reid, 1997). Forearm length varies from 41-47 mm (Nowak, 1997). Although C. senex is classified under the "leaf nosed" family, this species does not have a leaf nose. In fact, the nose is greatly reduced in size, while the eyes are quite large. The ears are yellow and the tragus is of moderate length. The tail is covered with hair but does not extend beyond the uropatagium. Females on average are slightly larger in body size (Snow et al., 1980).

  • Range mass
    13 to 28 g
    0.46 to 0.99 oz
  • Range length
    53 to 70 mm
    2.09 to 2.76 in
  • Average length
    55 mm
    2.17 in

Reproduction

During pregnancy females usually roost in the same tree with the males. Males use odiferous glands under their chins to attract females. Mating appears to take place anywhere from January through August, although males have been found most sexually active in the month of March (Snow et al., 1980). Females are most likely polyestrous. Lactation in females occurs in February, March and August (Nowak, 1997).

  • Average number of offspring
    1

Behavior

This species is nocturnal, active from dusk into the middle of the night (Reid, 1997). During the day, the bats may roost by themselves or in groups of 2 to 3 individuals, usually under the leaves of a tree. It is uncommon to see more than 10-12 individuals in the same tree. The sexes roost separately during the non-reproductive months. While roosting, the bats can pull folds of skin on their chins completely over their faces, and translucent areas in the skin folds and wings are placed over the eyes in order for the bat to detect light and movement around it (Nowak, 1997).

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

These animals are exclusively frugivorous. Most wrinkle-faced bats prefer overripe fruit, such as soft bananas and mangos, which they suck on. However, they may also eat unripe fruit, depending on the availability of food resources. Small protuberances between the lips and the gums filter juice when these animals feed on mushy fruit (Nowak, 1997). The morphology of these bats allows them to temporarily store fruit pulp in their mouths (Snow et al., 1980).

Foods eaten include: mangos, bananas, pawpaws and other tropical fruits.

  • Plant Foods
  • fruit

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

  • Positive Impacts
  • pollinates crops

Conservation Status

Although the species is not endangered, it is still quite uncommon within the areas it inhabits.

Other Comments

Ttwo subspecies are recognized: Centurio senex senex and C. s. greenhalli. The latter subspecies is found mainly in Trinidad (Snow et al., 1980).

Contributors

Christine Brown (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ondrej Podlaha (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Neotropical

living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.

World Map

altricial

young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

colonial

used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

frugivore

an animal that mainly eats fruit

herbivore

An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

nocturnal

active during the night

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

References

Eisenberg, J. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Fenton, M., L. Acharya, D. Audet, M. Hickey, C. Merriman. 1992. Phyllostomoid bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) as indicators of habitat disruption in the neotropics.. Biotropica, 24(3): 440-446.

Nowak, R. 1997. "Walker's Mammals of the World" (On-line). Accessed October 4, 2001 at http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walker/chiroptera/chiroptera.phyllostomidae.centurio.html.

Reid, F. 1997. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Snow, J., J. Knox Jones, Jr., W. Webster. 1980. Mammalian Species, No.138. New York: The American Society of Mammologists.