Two species (placed in a single genus) make up this family, the members of which are called bull-dog or mastiff bats. Noctilionids are medium-sized bats, often brightly colored (varying from bright rufous in males to drab gray-brown in females). The region around the mouth is distinctive. The lips are full and form cheek pouches, in which the bats store food as they feed while flying. A uropatagium extends somewhat beyond the knees. The tail of bulldog bats runs through the uropatagium for about half the length of the membrane, then exits dorsally, and the terminal part of the tail is free. The feet and claws range from relatively large (Noctilio albiventris) to relatively enormous (Noctilio leporinus) in size, and the legs are proportionately longer than in most other bats. The ears are moderately large and a tragus is present.
Bulldog bats have a pungent odor, described by some investigators as "fishy:"
In the skull, the premaxillae are fused with each other and with the maxillae, and both nasal and palatal branches of the premaxillae are present (the latter very small and indistinct in adults). The auditory bullae are small. Postorbital processes, found in many other kinds of bats, are completely lacking. The dental formula of noctilionids is 2/2, 1/1, 1/2, 3/3 = 34; and the molars are dilambdodont.
Both species of noctilios feed on insects, and N. leporinus takes fish, frogs, and crustaceans as well. To capture fish, these bats use their echolocation to locate exposed fins or ripples made by fish swimming near the surface. They then drag their claws through these ripples. Their hind claws are unusually large and sharp and serve as efficient gaffs. Once out of the water, the fish is carried to a perch, where it is eaten by the bat. Noctilio leporinus may also capture insects and crustaceans on the surface of the water.
These bats usually roost near water, often in hollow trees or in deep cracks in rocks.
Bulldog bats are a Neotropical group, found from northern Mexico, through Central America, south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. Few fossils are available, and those that are known are from the Pleistocene. Bulldog bats may be related to two other New World families, Phyllostomidae and Mormoopidae.
buoll face bat
Family Pteropodidae (Old World fruit-eating bats)
Family Rhinopomatidae (long-tailed or mouse-tailed bats) Family Craseonycteridae (bumblebee bat) Family Emballonuridae (sac-winged or sheath-tailed bats) Family Nycteridae (slit-faced or hollow-faced bats) Family Megadermatidae (false vampire bats) Family Rhinolophidae (horseshoe bats or Old-World leaf-nosed bats) Family Noctilionidae (bull-dog or mastiff bats) Family Mormoopidae (naked-backed bats) Family Phyllostomidae (New World leaf-nosed bats) Family Natalidae (funnel-eared or long legged bats) Family Furipteridae (smoky or thumbless bats) Family Thyropteridae (disc-winged bats) Family Myzopodidae (old world sucker-footed bats) Family Vespertilionidae (evening bats) Family Mystacinidae (New Zealand short-tailed bats) Family Molossidae (free-tailed bats)
<<<<<<<>>>>>>>ARTIODACTYLA CARNIVORA CETACEA CHIROPTERA DASYUROMORPHIA DERMOPTERA DIDELPHIMORPHI DIPROTODONTIA HYRACOIDEA INSECTIVORA LAGOMORPHA MACROSCELIDEA MICROBIOTHERIA MONOTREMATA NOTORYCTEMORPHIA PAUCITUBERCULATA PERAMELEMORPHIA PERISSODACTYLA PHOLIDOTA PRIMATES PROBOSCIDEA RODENTIA SCANDENTIA SIRENIA TUBULIDENTATA XENARTHRA