A greater bulldog bat skims the water's surface as it hunts

Greater bulldog bat

Greater bulldog bats are one of only a handfull of bat species that primarily eat fish (piscivores). Found near water in parts of south and central America these fishing bats use echolocation to detect ripples in the water, caused by the fins of small fishes, from two metres away. They then rake their large, taloned feet through the water impaling the unsuspecting prey. This method can result in a catch of over 30 fish during a single fishing trip.

Scientific name: Noctilio leporinus

Rank: Species

Common names:

Fisherman bat

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Map showing the distribution of the Greater bulldog bat taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Greater bulldog bat can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Greater bulldog bat distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Bats
  6. Noctilionidae
  7. Noctilio
  8. Greater bulldog bat

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