The Best Tree in Costa Rica (c) Richard Brown
Greater White-Lined Bats (c) Richard Brown
Again I (Giselle) was very excited by these bats. Reason the first; in England I have never observed bats hanging on the outside of trees in the daytime. Reason the second; in England, bats do not have crazy white parallel lines running down their backs.
So what are they? Out of 110 species of bat officially recorded in Costa Rica, we whittled these critters down to the title of Greater White-Lined Bat. It wasn't too difficult, as our guide told us what they were.
They belong to a family called 'Sac-Winged Bats' and are insectivores with wing-sacs. Whats the point in having a sac on your wing? Well, the sacs are used socially as scent marking organs.
During the breeding season, individual colonies are defended by one male. To attract a female the male emits a scent from his wing sacs. This is accompanied by a complex song which he performs whilst hovering in front of her. Awesome.