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Bat Food

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  • Insectivore: an animal that mainly eats insects... more

What Do Bats Eat?

With close to 1000 different types of bats, it shouldn't be surprising that bats eat a lot of different types of food. They are also great hunters able to locate the faintest sounds and smallest movement. So what do bats eat?

Volkswagen BeetleMost bats eat insects and are called insectivores. These bats especially like to eat mosquitoes, beetles, and moths. And they sure do eat a lot of insects. Did you know that one little brown bat can eat 1,200 mosquitoes in an hour? Now that's a lot of insects. With that many bats, you won’t need to use bug spray.

There are some bats that like to eat fruit, seeds, and pollen from flowers. These bats are called frugivores. Their favorite foods are figs, mangoes, dates, and bananas. Some frugivores have been known to drink sugar water from humming bird feeders.

So what other types of food do bats eat? There are bats that eat birds, fish, frogs, lizards, even other bats. There are even bats that drink blood. These are called vampire bats. There are only 3 types of vampire bats and they all live in Central and South America. And don't worry – vampire bats do not like to drink human blood. They mainly get blood from cows, sheep, and horses. To get blood, vampire bats make a small cut in a sleeping animals skin and lap up a little bit of blood. Vampire bats only need about 2 teaspoons of blood a day – that's such a small amount that often times the cow or sheep doesn' t even wake up while the bat is feeding.

Types of bat food

References:

Wilson, Don. 1997. Bats in Question. The Smithsonian Answer Book. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. 168p.

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by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.