- Most people are afraid of bats because of their penchant for darkness and living in places that are hard to access.
- Bats have never been liked let alone being called cute and that is more true in the case of Hammerhead bats.
- Here are the nine bat species that would steal your heart.
For many people, the word “cute” used to describe a bat does not compute. These folks are likely afraid of bats because they associate them with deadly viruses, darkness, or evil. Granted, bats are somewhat weird animals, being the only mammals that can achieve true flight.
Many also fly at night, and some of them are indeed ugly; the hammer-headed bat is one of the ugliest animals on earth and comes honestly by its scientific name of Hypsignathus monstrosus. Vampire bats drink blood, but bats also eat insects, including dangerous ones like mosquitoes, and fruit bats pollinate flowers and distribute seeds. Moreover, some bats are round, fluffy, and indeed cute.
Here are nine of the world’s cutest bats, from least to most cute. We think we’ve identified THE cutest bat in the world, and hope you’ll agree!
#9: Northern Ghost Bat
The northern ghost bat is one of the few types of white-furred bat. This sweet little bat has long, soft fur that ranges from snowy white to pale gray and has a sac at its uropatagium, which is the membrane that stretches between its hind legs. It also has a vestigial thumb, which helps it be told from other ghost bats. Its wing membranes are pink, and its face is hairless. The eyes are big and the ears are short and yellow. It is a medium-sized bat that’s between 3.39 and 4.06 inches long, and females are larger than males.
The northern ghost bat is an insectivore that eats moths and sings as it hunts. It roosts in palm trees, caves, and old mines from Central America down to Brazil. It breeds once a year in January and February.
#8: Heart-nosed Bat
This cute bat with its long, blue-gray fur is a serious predator for all its cuteness. It is not large at only 2.8 to 3.0 inches long but has no problem dealing with large prey such as lizards, frogs, rats, and mice. It will even take smaller bats, grabbing them in mid-air and beating them to death with its wings. It can also lift off from the ground and carry something nearly as heavy as it is. During the dry season, the heart-nosed bat takes beetles.
Another characteristic of this bat is that it sings to establish a territory and that, much unlike other bats, it’s monogamous. Though the female does most of the childrearing, the father’s singing is thought to protect the family and the territory from encroachers. Heart-nosed bats start to forage earlier in the evening than other bats and will start looking for food even before the sunsets.
The heart-nosed bat is found in the dry lowlands, river valleys, and coasts of the horn of Africa.
#7: Lesser Horseshoe Bat
Named because the nose leaf on its face resembles a horseshoe, this tiny bat is found in the hills and highlands of North Africa and Europe. One aspect of its cuteness is its tininess, for it is only 1.4 to 1.8 inches long, with a wingspan of 7.5 to 10 inches. It weighs only 0.18 to 0.32 ounces. This makes it the smallest of the types of horseshoe bats that live in Europe.
Its fur is gray, fluffy, and soft, and its big, petal-shaped ears and wings are also gray-brown. It is a nimble flyer and likes to fly in circles as it picks up insects and small arthropods from rocks, branches, and out of the air. Except for maternity colonies, lesser horseshoe bats are solitary.
The lesser horseshoe bat roosts during the day in trees, caves, hollow logs, and houses, where it can often be heard chattering. Its small size allows it to slip into cracks and crevices too tight for other bats. When it hangs upside down, it wraps its wings around its body like a blanket.
#6: Little Yellow-Shouldered Bat
This cute bat gets its name because of the yellowish fur on its shoulders. It is found from Mexico to Argentina, with a population in Jamaica. It is an interesting bat because it is often solitary or forms small groups that roost in trees. This little bat, which is from 2.4 to 2.8 inches long, mostly eats the fruits of plants in the nightshade family, many of which are poisonous to humans. It will also drink nectar.
The little yellow-shouldered bat has dark gray to mahogany brown fur on top and paler fur below. The color of the yellow fur found on the males gets its color from excretions from glands on the bat’s shoulders. It also has a nose leaf, most often lacks and tail, and has short ears. It doesn’t hibernate but breeds all year. The female gives birth to one very large (in proportion to her), precocial pup after a four to seven-month pregnancy. The pups are independent when they’re a month old.
#5: Common Pipistrelle
This little bat not only has a cute look but has a cute name. Abundant in Europe and the United Kingdom, North Africa, and much of Asia, its two species were initially differentiated by the frequency of their echolocation signals. The common pipistrelle has a call of 45 kHz, and the call of the soprano pipistrelle is 55 kHz.
These bats are between 1.09 and 1.27 inches in length with a wingspan of seven to nearly 10 inches. They have short ears, eyes set wide apart and reddish-brown fur with black wings. They’re often found in the woods, on farms, and in buildings, where female bats like to raise their pups. Like many bats, pipistrelles form sometimes huge maternity colonies during their breeding season. The pipistrelle is also unusual because twins are fairly common in some colonies.
The pipistrelle forages at night at the edge of the woods and eats insects, including mosquitoes and gnats. They’ll catch and eat smaller insects on the wing while they’ll take large insects to a perch and eat them at leisure.
#4: Little Brown Bat
This cute little brown bat is 3.1 to 3.7 inches long and has a wingspan of about 8.7 to 10.6 inches, and it has dense, glossy fur that ranges from tan to chocolate brown. It is one of the types of mouse-eared microbats, though its ears are a bit longer than those of most mice. Found in North America, the little brown bat roosts in colonies that can contain tens of thousands of bats. It is fond of living in or near human habitations where it sleeps during the day and heads out at night to forage for insects and spiders. These bats are especially fond of mosquitoes and fruit flies.
Though the little brown bat doesn’t have too many predators besides owls and raccoons, it is endangered due to a fungal disease called white-nose syndrome, which attacks the bat as it hibernates. It is ironic, for the little brown bat is one of the longest-lived bat species. They’ve been known to live for over 30 years.
#3: Peter’s Dwarf Epauletted Fruit Bat
One of the cutest bats around, Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat is found in the woods and tropical forests of central Africa. It’s considered a megabat even though it is small at 2.64 to 4.13 inches long. It has fluffy fur that is brown on top and lighter and more sparse on the bottom. The fur covers the bat’s forearms and is even on part of its wings. Its huge eyes, round ears, and round head make it look just like a mouse, and it gets its name because the males have white hairs in their shoulder pouches that resemble epaulets. They can open them up and vibrate them to attract mates.
Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat eats both fruit and nectar and helps pollinate plants, especially the sausage tree. This tree has an odor that’s nasty to humans but attracts the bats. This bat breeds for most of the year but especially in spring and November.
#2: Smoky Bat
This cute little bat is native to Puna Island, Ecuador, northern Peru, and northern Chile. Found in forests, pasturelands, derelict buildings, and caves, it’s only 1.5 to 2.28 inches long and weighs 0.12 ounces. Its tiny size makes it small enough to hide in crevices and other secret places.
The smoky bat gets its name because its fur is gray to dark brown. It has a vestigial thumb if it has any thumb at all and lacks a nose leaf. It sometimes forms colonies of as many as 300 bats, breeds in summer and early fall and like most bats only has one baby at a time. Dietary staples are butterflies and moths. Though a bat called Furipterus horrens is also called the smoky bat, the one on this list is Amorphochilus schnablii, and it’s the only species in its genus.
#1: Honduran White Bat
This tiny creature tops the list as the cutest bat. Its fur is fluffy, and though lots of bats have fluffy fur, the Honduran white bat is one of the rare types of bat whose fur is also white. It’s only 1.46 to 1.85 inches long with a four-inch wingspan, and males are larger than females. Besides their white fur, the outer part of their wings is yellow while the inner is grayish-black. Their noses and their ears are also yellow or amber.
During the day, as many as 15 of these little bats sleep together in tents formed from the young leaves of heliconia plants. They come out at night to look for food, and they’re unusual for little bats because they’re frugivores and are especially fond of figs. As its name says, this bat is native to the rainforests of Central America.
Our research shows the top nine cutest bats are as follows:
|Northern ghost bat
|Lesser Horseshoe Bat
|Litle yellow-shouldered bat
|Little brown bat
|Peter’s dwarf epauletted fruit bat
|Honduran white bat
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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Milan Zygmunt/Shutterstock.com
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