Millers Long-Tongued Bat (Glossophaga longirostris)
This is a funny little bat that we encounter in many caves on Bonaire, always in groups of small numbers ranging from 1 to 20. Usually, you find them close to the entrance, in the twilight zone where it is not yet completely dark.
The length of the body including the head is only about 5 cm (2 inch). The tail is 7 mm (0.3 inch). And in total it weighs about 10-15 g (0.4 ounce).
On the picture below you can see one of its diagnostic features: the leaf on the nose. This makes it a member of the family of leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae), which also includes the Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris curasoae).
To reach the nectar in the flowers, it uses its long tongue. This can be 7 cm long! That’s why it got its name. This same trait is shared by the Long-Nosed Bat.
Together with the Long-Nosed Bat, this species of bat and the columnar cacti are also interdependent. This means that without cacti there are no bats, and without bats no cacti. When a bat visits a cactus flower, a cactus fruit can be set. The flowers and fruits produced by the columnar cacti are also food for other animals (like lora, prikichi and iguana) as well.
Female bats with grown up babies on Bonaire can be seen beginning in July.
The map below shows you the regions where this bat can be found.