Molossus rufus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Molossidae

Scientific Name: Molossus rufus
Species Authority: É. Geoffroy, 1805
Common Name(s):
English Black Mastiff Bat
Molossus ater É. Geoffroy, 1805 [incorrect use of name]
Taxonomic Notes: This species is called ater by many authors, but see Dolan (1989), who argued, based on descriptions of head and ear shape of both taxa, and examination of the specimens labelled as types of rufus in the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, that Molossus ater Geoffroy, 1805, is really an Eumops, and that rufus is really the correct name for the large Molossus often incorrectly called ater. This species requires taxonomic revision and studies (Barquez pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-07-20
Assessor(s): Barquez, R., Rodriguez, B., Miller, B. & Diaz, M.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found from Tamaulipas, Michoacan and Sinaloa (Mexico) to Peru, northern Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Venezuela, Suriname, the Guianas and Trinidad (Simmons 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Trinidad and Tobago; Uruguay
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A study carried out in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, found that colonies of this species can exceed more than 500, with both sexes present. Between April to July the proportion of males overcomes that of females, while in other months females prevailed. This species has seasonal reproduction. Females arrived by July and the numbers increased until November. Pregnant females were captured between September, October, November and February. Lactating females were observed in August, October, November, December and February. Active males were observed in all months, being overcome by males with abdominal testes only in July (Esberard 2002).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It roosts in buildings, and is hardly captured outside the roosts. It is found in tropical deciduous forests, evergreen, shrubs, oak forest and secondary vegetation (Santos and Castro-Arellano 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is found in protected areas. This species needs taxonomic review.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Marginal  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

Bibliography [top]

Dolan, P.G. 1989. Systematics of Middle American mastiff bats of the genus Molossus. Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University 29: 1–71.

Esbérard, C. 2002. Composição e reprodução de Molossus rufus (E. Geoffroy)(Chiroptera:Phyllostomidae) em um refúgio no sudeste do Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 19( 4): 1153-1160.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Santos, M. and Castro-Arellano, I. 2005. Molossus rufus. In: G. Ceballos and G. Oliva (eds), Los mamíferos silvestres de México, pp. 325. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad and Fondo de Cultura Económica, México.

Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 312-529. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Citation: Barquez, R., Rodriguez, B., Miller, B. & Diaz, M. 2015. Molossus rufus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T13644A22107969. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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