Musonycteris harrisoni, Schaldach & McLaughlin, 1960

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Phyllostomidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 444-583 : 524

publication ID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Musonycteris harrisoni


79. View Plate 38: Phyllostomidae

Banana Bat

Musonycteris harrisoni

French: Musonyctere des bananiers / German: Bananenfledermaus / Spanish: Musonicterio del bananero

Other common names: Colima Long-nosed Bat, Trumpet-nosed Bat

Taxonomy. Musonycteris harrisoni Schaldach & McLaughlin, 1960 ,

“ 2 km. southeast of Pueblo Juarez (formerly Hacienda LLa Magdalena), Colima, México.”

This species is monotypic.

Distribution. C Pacific coast of Mexico (Jalisco to Guerrero), reaching inland to Morelos, México, and Puebla states. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 81-89 mm, tail 8-12 mm, ear 13-17 mm, hindfoot 10-14 mm, forearm 41-4-44-5 mm; weight 10-13-5 g. There is slight sexual dimorphism, with males having longer rostra (19-21 mm) than females (17-19-5 mm). The Banana Bat is small, with extremely elongated rostrum that harbors extremely long tongue. Fur is grayish brown; hair bases are paler. Ears are small and rounded. Uropatagium is complete, fully encloses short tail, and has dark, inverted U-shaped pattern. Rostrum is distinctly longer than post-rostral part of cranium. Dental formula is I 2 /0, Cl1/1,P2/35.M 3/3 (x2) = 30. Dentition is characterized by missing lower incisors and large diastemata among cheekteeth.

Habitat. Tropical dry forest on west coast of Mexico (“selva baja”), mostly in lowlands but up to elevations of ¢. 1700 m. Habitat of the Banana Bat is characterized by distinct dry and wet seasons.

Food and Feeding. The Banana Batis a distinct nectar specialist and feeds almost entirely on nectar and pollen from a wide variety of nocturnal flowers, including columnar cacti, such as Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum ( Cactaceae ), trees such as Pseudobombax ellipticum and Ceiba spp. ( Malvaceae ), and some herbs such as Cleome spinosa ( Cleomaceae ). Its long tongue allowsit to extract nectar up to 7 cm inside flowers and gives it year-round access to all available nectar sources. Its common name is rather unfortunate and refers to it often being captured in banana plantations; however, because these plants came from the Old World,there is no evolutionary relationship between them and the Banana Bat.

Breeding. The Banana Bat has one reproductive peak per year, with reproductive females observed mostly during dry season in March-April.

Activity patterns. Banana Bats are nocturnal. Roost information is extremely limited, butit has been observed under rocky overhangs and in caves, mines, and culverts.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The Banana Bat generally occurs at lower densities than other sympatric nectarfeeding bat species such as the Lesser Long-nosed Bat ( Leptonycteris yerbabuenae ) or Pallas’s Long-tongued Bat ( Glossophaga soricina ). It probably roosts in very small groups.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List. The Banana Bat occurs in Mexican tropical dry forest thatis highly threatened so its loss is of major conservation concern.

Bibliography. Gonzalez-Terrazas et al. (2012), Ibarra-Cerdena et al. (2007), Marin et al. (2016), Orozco-Lugo et al. (2013), Ortega et al. (2009), Sperr et al. (2011), Tellez & Ortega (1999), Tschapka etal. (2008).














Musonycteris harrisoni

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Musonycteris harrisoni

Schaldach & McLaughlin 1960