Phyllonycteris aphylla 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Phyllostomidae

Scientific Name: Phyllonycteris aphylla
Species Authority: (Miller, 1898)
Common Name(s):
English Jamaican Flower Bat

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-03-06
Assessor(s): Koenig, S. & Davalos, L.
Reviewer(s): Solari, S.
This species is known only from Jamaica and has been found recently at only two caves: Marta Tick Cave (1983) and Stony Hill Cave (2010). The population size is estimated to be under 250 mature individuals with fewer than 50 mature individuals at each known subpopulation (roosting caves). There is a continuing decline in mature individuals inferred from the decline in the number of subpopulations since the 1970s. This species is Critically Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)
1990 Insufficiently Known (K)
1988 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from Jamaica (Simmons 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 400
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Number of Locations: 2-5
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was previously known from five or six caves in Jamaica but has been found recently at only two caves, representing two extant subpopulations: Marta Tick Cave (1983) and Stony Hill Cave (2010). Until the 1970s, when it was captured extant at three caves, the largest subpopulation was of 50-60 to perhaps a few hundred individuals concentrated at St. Clair Cave (McFarlane 1986). Recent surveys in 1984 by the Royal Ontario Museum, and in 2005 and 2009-2010 by Andrea Donaldson have failed to detect individuals at St. Clair Cave. Additional surveys at the potentially suitable sites of Riverhead Cave, Mount Plenty Cave and Oxford Cave have also failed to detect this species.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 250 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: No
No. of subpopulations: 2 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is colonial and roosts in caves, often together with other bats species. A female with one embryo was caught in January; and a pregnant female captured in June (Genoways et al. 2005). Its diet consists of fruit, pollen, nectar and perhaps insects (Nowak 1999); captive individuals thrived on a diet of bananas, mangoes, papayas and various kinds of canned fruit nectars (Nowak 1999).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no recent records from the only known major colony of St. Clair Cave, which contained a few hundred individuals. That cave is not protected and is vulnerable to human disturbance (Nowak 1999). It has a population of feral cats living by the entrance and its surrounding area is unprotected as well.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Habitat conservation, monitoring of St. Clair Cave and active surveys at other hot caves are recommended.

Classifications [top]

7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.1. Recreational activities
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Felis catus)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.7. Reduced reproductive success

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

Bibliography [top]

Genoways, H.H., Baker, R.J., Bickham, J.W. and Phillips, C.J. 2005. Bats of Jamaica. Special Publications of the Museum of Texas Tech University 48: 1-155.

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

McFarlane, D.A. 1986. Cave bats in Jamaica. Oryx 20: 27-30.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

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: Koenig, S. & Davalos, L. 2015. Phyllonycteris aphylla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T17173A22133396. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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