Thyroptera tricolor


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Thyroptera tricolor
Species Authority: Spix, 1823
Common Name(s):
English Spix's Disk-winged Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Status of the subspecies needs to be assessed. This may be species complex (Tavares pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Tavares, V. & Mantilla, H.
Reviewer(s): Medellín, R. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Although this species is threatened in portions of its range (Andean foothills and Mata Atlantica - which may be their own species) its extent of occurrence is very large and relatively well protected globally. This species is listed as Least Concern as it is widespread, although uncommon and patchily distributed. It is fairly tolerant to a range of habitats and is unlikely to be declining rapidly enough to qualify for inclusion in a threat category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Veracruz (Mexico) to Guianas, Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru; Trinidad (Simmons 2005). In Venezuela the species occurs in lowlands, moistly below 850 m elevation (Handley, 1976). Occurs in lowlands to 1,300 m on both sides of the Andes (Ecuador) and up to 1,800 m in Colombia. The species does not occur in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Seems to be rare across its range, however, can be locally common. Difficult to collect and this may underestimate the population. Uncommon although can be locally common (Reid, 1997). The species is not often caught in mist nets during sampling (Reid, 1997).
This bat forms small colonies, rarely exceeding nine individuals that show stability over time although roosting sites are changed frequently. Their specialized roosting habitats are inside young, rolled up leaves of Heliconia, Calathea, and banana, which may limit colony size. Suitable leaves are in the form of vertical tubes with openings of 50 to 100 mm diameter, located in shady areas and not in direct contact with other vegetation. Such leaves unroll rapidly and are usually only used as roosts for one day. The suction disks allow them to cling to the smooth surface of leaves.
Unlike most species, this bat roosts upright, and individuals line up one above another inside the leaf. Tree falls, stream banks, and other small, natural forest gaps provide good conditions for host plants and bats. Stable groups with approximately equal numbers of males and females occupy fixed territories (Wilson and Findley, 1977).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lowland forests and foothills of the Andes on both sides. Occurs also in Atlantic and Amazonia forests. In Venezuela occurs in swamp palm forests across savannas (Ochoa pers. comm.) It is strongly associated with moist habitats, especially evergreen forest and tall second growth. Not found in areas with a prolonged dry season. This species is an aerial insectivore. This species is seldom caught in mist nets, even in areas where it is known to be common and its roost sites are abundant, due to its agile and highly maneuverable flight. The diet is presumed to consist of small insects caught in flight (Reid, 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Loss of habitat over portions of its range (Andean foothills and Atlantic forest), but overall there are no major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in protected areas. In Mexico it is listed as subject to special protection under NOM - 059 - SEMARNAT - 2001 (Arroyo-Cabrales pers. comm.). This species should be reviewed following taxonomic clarification.

Bibliography [top]

Handley Jr., C. O. 1976. Mammals of the Smithsonian Venezuelan Project. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, Biological Series 20: 1-91.

Reid, F. 1997. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

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.

Wilson, D. and Findley, J. 1977. Thryoptera tricolor. Mammalian Species 71: 1-3.

Citation: Tavares, V. & Mantilla, H. 2008. Thyroptera tricolor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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