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
Greater bulldog bats exhibit their skills in slow motion.
Greater bulldog bats justify the comparative in their name by catching fish. In the dark. While flying at 40 miles per hour. Against oncoming traffic.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
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
Population trend: Unknown
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The greater bulldog bat or fisherman bat (Noctilio leporinus) is a type of fishing bat native to Latin America (Spanish: Murciélago pescador). The bat uses echolocation to detect water ripples made by the fish upon which it preys, then uses the pouch between its legs to scoop the fish up and its sharp claws to catch and cling to it. It is not to be confused with the lesser bulldog bat, which, though belonging to the same genus, merely catches water insects, such as water striders and water beetles.
It emits echolocation sounds through the mouth like Myotis daubentoni, but the sounds are quite different, containing a long constant frequency part around 55 kHz, which is an unusually high frequency for a bat this large.
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