Alien Earthlings

in Drake Bay, Costa Rica



Tracie "The Bug Lady"  invites you  on an out  of this world  walk on...
The Dark Side

Discover the hidden treasures of Drake Bay,  Costa Rica with Tracie "The Bug Lady"


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Brazilian Long-nosed Bats

Rhynchonycteris naso

Proboscis Bats - Rhynchonycteris naso 

One of the joys of touring the Sierpe River near Drake Bay is discovering, with the help of your guide, a colony of Brazilian Long-Nosed Bats.  These bats are one of the most commonly seen bats along tropical rivers from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil.  They roost on branches, tree trunks, fallen trees, and rocks near rivers, often in full view.

Colonies normally consist of 5 to 15 bats, but larger groups of up to 45 animals do occur.  Colonies contain both males and females, as well as young.  There is a dominant male who defends both the roost as well as their foraging area.

Despite their colony size and their habit of roosting on open branches or rocks, Brazilian Long-Nosed Bats can be frustratingly difficult to see even when they are being pointed out.   

Brazilian long-nosed bats are small, only 1˝ inches long.  Their brown fur is flecked with shades of grey and two wavy white lines run down the back.  This camo-coloration pattern allows the Brazilian Long-Nosed Bats to blend almost perfectly with the bark and lichen on trees. To complete their disguise, their forearms are masked with tufts of grey fur.

Proboscis Bat - Rhynchonycteris naso 
Brazilian Long-nosed Bat netted by Fiona Reid at Sylvan Falls - Rhynchonycteris naso


Proboscis Bats - Rhynchonycteris naso

As their name reveals, Long-Nosed Bats have a distinctively long, pointed nose.  For this reason they are also commonly called Proboscis Bats. In Costa Rica they are found throughout the Pacific and Caribbean lowlands, nearly always within 30 meters of running water.

Brazilian Long-Nosed Bats are aerial insectivores. At night they fly along rivers hunting midges and mosquitoes. They may fly at heights anywhere from a few inches to 10 feet above the water. The bats hunt in family groups. Breeding females and young bats have rights to the richest foraging areas. The dominant males defends their territory and will chase away any unwelcome visitors from neighboring colonies.



Beletsky, L.  2005  Travellers' Wildlife Guides Costa Rica  Interlink Publishing

Janzen, D.  1983  Costa Rican Natural History  University of Chicago Press

LaVal, R. & Rodriguez, B.  2002  Murcielagos de Costa Rica/Bats  Editorial INBio

Wainwright, M.  2002  The Natural History of Costa Rican Mammals  Zona Tropical

Proboscis Bat - RHychonycteris naso 


Mammal Files

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Brazilian Long-nosed Bats

Greater Bulldog Fishing Bats

Tent-making Bats

White-lined Bats

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth

Kinkajous - Potos flavus

Common Opossums - Didelphis marsupialis

Northern Tamandua - Tamandua mexicana

Central American Woolly Opossum - Caluromys derbianus



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