Sphaeronycteris toxophyllumvisored bat

Geographic Range

Columbia, Venezuala, to the Amazonian region of Peru and Brazil (Nowak, 1997; Murcielagos, 1982).


Venezualan specimens were collected in many different habitats, but mostly in moist, open areas of the forest (Nowak, 1997). One specimen was found in cavity in the ground (Murcielagos, 1982). Venezuelan samples were taken at up to 2240 m (Eisenberg, 1989).

  • Range elevation
    2240 (high) m
    7349.08 (high) ft

Physical Description

Sphaeronycteris toxophyllum has a total length of approximately 56-58 mm and a forearm length of about 40 mm. There is no external tail and the dorsum is cinnamon brown. The underparts are brownish white with individual hairs on the back whitish. The side of the face has fleshy outgrowths. A hornlike growth on the nose is larger on males than on females. Under the chin is a fold of skin that can be rolled over the face. The bat is similar in appearance to Centurio but with less extreme facial outgrowths and a third lower molar (Nowak, 1997).

  • Average mass
    17 g
    0.60 oz
  • Range length
    56 to 58 mm
    2.20 to 2.28 in


  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual


There is no literature regarding the behavior of this species.

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

Unknown food habits, but the stomach contents of an examined specimen resembled yellowish fruit pulp (Murcielagos, 1982).

Ecosystem Roles

Not much is known, but because they are frugivores it might be assumed that they disperse some fruit seeds.

  • Ecosystem Impact
  • disperses seeds

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

None known

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

None known

Conservation Status

S. toxophyllum is not listed on either the IUCN or U.S. ESA sites.

Other Comments

This species has not been widely seen nor studied so there is very little literature on it.


Jordan Zylstra (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Ondrej Podlaha (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



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

World Map

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.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


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 mainly eats fruit


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.


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.


rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.


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


uses touch to communicate


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


"CITES" (On-line). Accessed November 19, 2001 at http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/fauna.shtml.

1982. "Murcielagos De Venezuela II: Phyllostomidae-Stenodermatinae" (On-line). Accessed 8 October, 2001 at http://www.redpav-fpolar.info.ve/fagro/v12_34/v124m009.html.

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

Nowak, R. 1997. "Walker's Mammals of the World Online 5.1" (On-line). Accessed 8 October, 2001 at http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/chiroptera/chiroptera.phyllostomidae.sphaeronycteris.html.