Lesser dog-like bats are found from southern Mexico to Central and South America. They can be found in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, and the northern parts of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. They are not known to live south of northern Paraguay. There are three named subspecies: Peropteryx macrotis macrotis, Peropteryx macrotis phaea, and Peropteryx macrotis trinitatus. (Yee, 2000)
Fur color in lesser dog-like bats varies geographically and ranges from brown to gray to reddish on the dorsal section and lighter on the ventral side. They can be distinguished from similar species by a wing sac on the antebrachial membrane. The appearance of their faces are somewhat dog-like and their ears are long. Their ears are separate at the base, not connected by a membrane as is the case for related species. Their fur is roughly 6 to 9 mm in length. The tail is about one-third the length of the body. The dental formula is 1/3, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3, with 32 teeth total. Wings attach at the ankle. Lesser dog-like bats are the smallest members of the genus Peropteryx. (Nowak and Walker, 1999; Yee, 2000)
Lesser dog-like bats live in groups of less than 15 individuals. In groups of less than 10 individuals, only one male is present. This suggests a harem mating system. It is speculated that a gland in the male wing is used as a scent display during mating. (Yee, 2000)
Lesser dog-like bats exhibit seasonal polyestry, with the timing varying geographically. In Central and South America, they mate during both dry and wet seasons. The timing of breeding varies regionally, but occurs for several months of each year in any given area. Females gestate their young for 4 to 4.5 months. Single births are the most common. (Yee, 2000)
Information about the lifespan ofis unavailable.
Lesser dog-like bats maintain small colonies of 10 to 15. Colonies roost in rock crevices, shallow caves (limestone and coral), the hollows and undersides of fallen logs, and rock piles. All members of the genus Peropteryx cling to horizontal or vertical surfaces when resting. Although sometimes found hanging upside down from horizontal surfaces, they are more commonly seen clinging to a vertical surface by spreading their wings and legs. Colonies of are often found sharing roosting areas with other bat species, including Peropteryx kappleri, Saccopteryx bilineata, Glossophaga soricina, Glossophaga longirostris, Carollia perspicillata, Diphylla ecaudata, Myotis nigricans, and Myotis keaysi. There is also a single report of roost-sharing with a colony of Desmodus rotundus. Roosts are sometimes exposed so lesser dog-like bats tend to stay alert while roosting. (Nowak and Walker, 1999; Yee, 2000)
Information about the home range ofis unavailable.
Lesser dog-like bats are insectivorous. Their diet consists mainly of small beetles and flies. In human-occupied areas insects are often hunted near street lights. (Yee, 2000; Yee, 2000; Yee, 2000; Yee, 2000)
Lesser dog-like bats are preyed on by owls and big-eared woolly bats (Chrotopterus auritus), which are common predators on smaller bats. Lesser dog-like bats are vigilant and readily abandon roosts when threatened. (Yee, 2000)
Lesser dog-like bats help to control insect pests and vectors of disease through their insectivory. They act as prey for owls and larger bats. Lesser dog-like bats are also host to both internal and external parasites, including nematodes and bed bugs (Cimex). (Nowak and Walker, 1999; Wilson and Reeder, 2005; Yee, 2000)
Humans benefit from lesser dog-like bats because they eat large quantities of insects, including agricultural pests and vectors of disease. (Yee, 2000)
Lesser dog-like bats are not considered endangered as a species. Populations are large, wide-spread, and stable. No known threats are listed, but deforestation does impact populations negatively. ("IUCN", 2008)
The species name "macrotis" is Latin and means "long ears". In Spanish, the common name of this bat is "murcielago orejudo de sacos alares", translated as long-eared sac-winged bats. (Nowak and Walker, 1999; Yee, 2000)
Saundra Ponte (author), University of Oregon, Stephen Frost (editor, instructor), University of Oregon, Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
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.
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.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
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.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
having more than one female as a mate at one time
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
IUCN. 2008. "IUCN" (On-line). Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed January 20, 2009 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/.
NatureServe. 2007. "InfoNatura: Animals and Ecosystems of Latin America" (On-line). InfoNatura. Accessed January 26, 2009 at http://www.natureserve.org/infonatura.
Nowak, R., E. Walker. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: JHU Press. Accessed March 17, 2009 at http://books.google.com.
Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 2005. Mammal species of the world : a taxonomic and geographic reference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Yee, D. 2000. Mammalian Species 643. American Society of Mammalogists, No. 1: 1-4. Accessed January 25, 2009 at http://www.science.smith.edu/departments/Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/msiaccounts.html.