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Photo credit: Alan Harper

Macrotus californicus

Order: Chiroptera

Suborder: Yangochiroptera

Family: Phyllostomidae

Call characteristics:

Low decibel caller (whispering)


  1/4 - 3/5 oz

(8 - 17 g)

Body Length

1 1/5 - 5 1/3 in

(4 – 13.5 cm)

There are various sources for bat species range maps including IUCN, NatureServe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ECOS, and the National Atlas of the United States

California Leaf-nosed Bat

California Leaf-nosed Bat

The California leaf-nosed bat has gray to dark brown pelage, with often-paler ventral fur. The California leaf-nosed bat prefers hunting sans echolocation, using its sizeable ears and eyes to detect its prey outright. This bat mostly eats large insects and is one of the few bat species to eat caterpillars; it may supplement its insect diet with cacti fruit. This desert species can be found in scrub habitat of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. It is not well-suited to long flight and does not migrate nor hibernate. Mothers rear one pup per year. The California leaf-nosed bat roosts in rocky areas, caves, and mines and can survive to 20-30 years of age in the wild.

Information used to populate this page was obtained from the following sources:
NatureServe Explorer
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Conservation Online System
Bat Conservation International Bat Profiles
National Atlas of the United States. (2011). North American Bat Ranges, 1830-2008. National Atlas of the United States. Available at:
Taylor, M. 2019. Bats: an illustrated guide to all species. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.

Conservation Status

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