Honduran White Bats (by Christopher L Wood)
Honduran white bats live only in the lowland rainforests of eastern Honduras, northern Nicaragua, eastern Costa Rica and western Panama.
They live in rainforests that have heliconia plants. By cutting along the veins of heliconia leaves, these bats force the leaves to collapse into upside-down V-shaped “tents” that might shelter only one bat, or as many as twelve bats.
When they roost, they hang close together upside down in the center of the leaf. The tents help protect them during the daytime from rain, the hot sun and predators.
The bats choose leaves that are six feet off the ground — high enough to be out of the reach of terrestrial predators. Also, the stems of heliconia plants are not very strong, so any predator brushing against the leaf causes the bats’ tent to shake. This alerts the bats to danger and they fly quickly away.
Why do Honduran white bats have bright white coats? Why are they not green like the leaves they hide inside? When the sun shines through the leaves of their tent, it makes the bats’ white coat appear green, making them hard to spot!
Their tent is not home sweet home for long. The bats rarely return to the same tent for more than a day.
source for text: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/resources.cfm?id=honduran_bat