The Fishing Bulldog Bat From Costa Rica
Also known as the Greater Bulldog Bat or Fisherman Bat, the Fishing Bulldog Bat comes by its name quite naturally. It mostly eats fish which picks out of the water.
Bulldog Bats are generally found from Mexico to Argentina with a population in the Caribbean islands, as well. They live mostly in tropical lowlands, mangrove swamps and caves. The Barra Honda Caves in Guanacaste are a good place to see this creature as are Corcovado National Park, Marino Las Baulas National Park, La Selva Biological Station and Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica.
Mating & Reproduction
Breeding season seems to be in autumn and winter between the months of September and January. Per pregnancy, only one young is born, but Bulldog Bats may mate multiple times in a season. The mother and father take turns caring for the young. The young will stay in the nest for about a month before becoming independent.
Female Bulldog Bats roost together with one male bat. The other males may be segregated and roost alone or with a group of other male bats.
The nocturnal Fisherman Bat has developed a special form of hunting. In the rainy season, the bats feed on insects such as moths, ants and beetles. In the dry season, the bats forage the shore using echolocation to catch fish, crabs and shrimp. The bats find their food during high tide. They fly high above the shore line in a circle, and it will dive along the water if it senses a fish jumping. They will also fly along and rake the water to catch their prey.
Bulldog Bats, like other bats, fly entirely based on their sense of hearing. They emit constant waves of sound that could be picked up by a special low frequency radio at 25.9 KHz FM.
If not nesting in caves, Bulldog Bats roost in silk-cotton trees, red mangroves and balatás.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Barra Honda National Park, Corcovado National Park, Marino Las Baulas National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Santa Rosa National Park
Diet: Fish, Crabs, Insects, Shrimp
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: tropical lowlands, mangrove swamps, caves
Size: length=10.9-12.2 cm weight=50-90 g
Species: Noctilio leporinus