The Honduran white bat is a unique species of bat native to Central America. It has distinctive, entirely white fur, which is only found in six of the roughly 1,300 known species of bat. Its ears, tragi (the cartilaginous projections in front of the ear openings), nose-leaf, and lips are a bright, yellowish-orange. The nose-leaf also has a serrated margin. The Honduran white bat also has eight to ten small "warts" under its mouth.
Honduran white bats are found in several countries in Central America, including Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. They prefer wet evergreen forests and secondary forests, which can accommodate their specific roosting and dietary requirements.
Honduran white bats are nocturnal creatures. They construct "tents" out of understory plant leaves by strategically cutting the leaf ribs with their teeth and roost in these tents during the day. The bats cling to the roof of their tent in small colonies of 1-15 individuals. The tent protects them from rain and predators. Rather than roosting in a single tent consistently, Honduran white bats have a network of tents scattered across the forest and alternate among these tents for roosting. Although their tents are typically low to the ground, sunlight filters through the leaf and gives the white fur of these bats a greenish cast. This almost completely conceals them if they remain still. Alternately, it has been proposed that their white fur gives these bats the appearance of a wasp nest, which would be avoided by predators. Honduran white bats are generally silent and communicate with each other visually and through touch.
Honduran white bats are polygynous and in a roost one male mates with several females. Their breeding season takes place between May and August. Females have synchronized births, with all births in a colony occurring within the same week. Each female gives birth to a single pup after the gestation period of about 3 weeks. During lactation, mothers return to their roosts up to 6 times a night to feed their pups. The young usually start to fly when they are 3-4 weeks old.
The main threats to Honduran white bats include the conversion of their native habitat to farmland as well as an expanding human population. These little creatures are particularly susceptible to habitat loss because they are highly specialized on a single species of fig for their food source.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Honduran white bat total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.