Southern Long-Nosed Bat: Leptonycteris Curasoe

Image of a flying southern long nosed bat

The Souther long-nosed bat is a migratory species that is found in the southern United States and northern Mexico. They primarily feed on con agave and cacti. Males and females reunite only to mate.

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Description Of Southern Long-Nosed Bats

Leptonycteris curasoae is a yellow-brown or cinnamon gray bat, measuring approximately 7.62 cm in total head and body length. This bat’s tongue is almost as long as its entire body. This species has a small noseleaf as well. The southern long-nose bat wingspan measures approximately 25 cm and weighs approximately 23 g. 1Go To Source -“Lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae)”

Southern Long-Nosed Bat Habitat

Leptonycteris curasoae is found in semiarid and arid habitats subject to annual temperature, precipitation, or fluctuations. In South America in the north, L. Curasoae is associated with thorn forests, carbon cactus forests, spiny scrublands, and tropical dry forests.

Usually, in cellars with different environmental conditions, Southern long-nosed bats prefer to roost in hot (>30 ° C) and humid cellars because they trap metabolic heat and moisture produced by thousands of conspecific and other bat species. Females benefit from roosting in hot, densely populated caves and mines with several physiological benefits including lower energy expenditure during the day, reduced evaporative water loss, low thermoregulation costs, and higher youth growth rates. 2Go To Source -“Leptonycteris curasoae”

Southern Long-Nosed Bat Range

The species is found from June through August in southern Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. It is found throughout the rest of the year in central Mexico. They mainly roost in caves and mines but can be found in unoccupied buildings, hollow trees, and even sewers.

Behavior Of Southern Long-Nosed Bats

Unlike most other bat species, Leptonycteris curasoae is a migratory bat species that hibernates during the winter. L. Curasoae migrates to find food resources such as agave and cacti and migrates to match the plants’ flowering patterns with which they share a mutual relationship. The females of this species are more likely than the males to relocate as well.

In hot and humid caves, hanging from the ceiling with thousands of other less long-nosed bats, Leptonycteris curasoae roosts. To reduce their metabolic expenditure, reduce their water loss during the day, and to help with the development of their embryos and pups, they roost in hot and humid caves.

Like other bats, Southern long-nosed bats fly and are nocturnal. They are also known to hover over flower clusters. 3Go To Source -“Leptonycteris curasoae southern long-nosed bat

Southern Long-Nosed Bat Reproduction Habits

Colonies of Leptonycteris curasoae are usually separated by sex and are only reunite for breeding in special mating caves. Based on the male’s dorsal patch, the female chooses a mate. Without a developed dorsal patch, a female will not choose a male. Female Curasoae uses the dorsal patch to select a mate by analyzing its complex odor and chemical composition. The dorsal patch provides information on male bat’s fitness, such as if they have parasites or diseases.

The young are raised in maternal colonies kept in warm caves by adult Southern long-nosed bats, but there is no cooperative raising of the offspring. The warm environment helps expend less energy on the southern long-nosed bat, and it also helps the offspring develop faster. The absence of cooperative raising is because the bats don’t live in a constant group due to migration.

Diet Of The Southern Long-Nosed Bat

The diet of Southern long-nosed bats in semiarid shrub habitat overlaps greatly with that of Glossophaga longirostris. However, interspecific competition is low, as curasoae occurred only in the study area when the availability of food was highest.

The diet of Curasoae is dominated by nectar, pollen, and fruit. Some stomachs contained insects from Curaçaoan long-nosed bats that may have been consumed coincidentally for nectar feeding. When Curaçaoan long-nosed bats groom their fur after nectar-feeding, much of the pollen taken is probably ingested. The majority of the diet consists of nectar and pollen, but some fruit can be eaten, especially when females are lactating.



  1. FWS. “Lesser Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris Curasoae Yerbabuenae).” U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.
  2. Cole, Russell, and Don Wilson. “Leptonycteris Curasoae.” OUP Academic, 1 Aug. 2006,
  3. Barnett, G. 2019. “Leptonycteris curasoae” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 15, 2021 at