Bats live in rainforests all over the world, from Australia to Africa and Central America. In these areas, they are some of the most plentiful animals to be found. In addition to their numbers, they are also beneficial to the ecosystem. Bats are not, however, without enemies and can fall prey to various rainforest-dwelling creatures. Predators will pursue bats and feed upon them where they roost or even in mid-flight.
False Vampire Bats
The false vampire bat, also known as the spectral bat, is an omnivore that is known for preying on other bats. It can have a wingspan of 30 inches or longer. It is called the false vampire bat because of its long canine teeth which has incorrectly led people to believe that it is a vampire bat and that it drinks blood. It is believed that this type of bat hunts other bats by using its enhanced sense of smell.
Despite their inability to fly, snakes such as boa constrictors have the ability to kill and eat bats. Because of a snake's ability to maneuver and reach higher areas in the rainforest, they can often attack bats where they roost when other land-dwelling predators cannot. Snakes are also known to prey on bats such as fruit bats while they are in trees eating.
Birds of Prey
Birds of prey, such as raptors, are some of the more common predators of bats. This is partly because of their ability to pursue bats that are in flight. Canopy bats, for example, fall prey to owls who are also active at night and who often catch them while they are flying. To reduce attack by certain night-flying birds, bats may display lunar phobia, or lessen night time activity when there is a full moon. Eagles and hawks also prey on bats such as the vampire bat.
Opossums and Wild Cats
In the rainforest, opossums often eat fruit bats. They will lie in wait for the animal near fruit trees or they will capture the bat while it is in the process of eating. Opossums will also wait for bats to emerge from where they roost. This type of animal is also known for eating Honduran white bats. Cats of the rainforest, such as the ocelot, will also prey on bats for food if they come across them.
- Montclair State University Rainforest Connection: Bats
- "Who Eats Who in the Rainforest"; Robert Snedden; 2006
- Rainforest Alliance: Honduran White Bat
- Animal Port: Rainforest Animals: Vampire Bat
- "Brazil: Amazon and Pantanal"; David L. Pearson, et al; 2005
- "A Neotropical Companion"; John Kricher; 1999