The White-winged vampire bat is one of three extant bat species that feed solely on blood. Its fur is clay-colored, light brown, or dark cinnamon brown. The outline of its wings is white, as well as the membrane between its second and third fingers. Both males and females have cup-shaped scent glands located in their mouths. These glands might be an anti-predator defense, as the bats produce a foul-smelling odor from these glands when they are disturbed.
White-winged vampire bats are found in the southern part of North America, Central, and South America ranging from Mexico to northern Argentina; they are also present on the islands of Trinidad and Margarita. These bats have flexible roosting and foraging habitat requirements. They prefer moist, open areas, but will still forage in dry deciduous or evergreen forests and often visit rural gardens and urban areas. They roost in both tree cavities and caves.
White-winged vampire bats are social animals and live in colonies that have dominance hierarchies. They are not as adept as Common vampire bats at quadrupedal locomotion, possibly because their thumbs are much shorter. However, they are quite adept at climbing branches. White-winged vampire bats hunt only when it is fully dark. Once they locate a host, they creep up on it from the underside of a tree trunk or branch until they are close enough to extract blood from the prey. Feeding time usually lasts around 15-20 minutes.
Females of this species are capable of becoming pregnant multiple times a year. They give birth to one pup at a time after the gestation period of 8-9 months.
There are no major threats to the White-winged vampire bat at present.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the White-winged vampire bat total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.