Animal Database
Cuban Flower Bat
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Common Name Poey's Flower Bat
Range Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Chiroptera
Family Phyllostomidae
Genus Phyllonycteris
Species Phyllonycteris poeyi
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Cuban flower bat (Phyllonycteris poeyi), also called Poey's flower bat, is a species of leaf-nosed bat in the Phyllostomidae family. It is found in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.


The Cuban flower bat is a medium-sized bat, with a wingspan of 29 to 35 centimetres (11 to 14 in), and a body weight of 15 to 29 grams (0.53 to 1.02 oz). The males are significantly larger than the females. Both sexes have silky, uniformly greyish-white fur. They have a relatively short tail, no more than 18 millimetres (0.71 in) long, and only a narrow patagium between the legs, since they lack a calcar. The snout is relatively long and narrow and bears a simple, rather rudimentary, nose leaf. The tongue is also long, with a hairlike structures forming a brus at the top, which helps the bat to feed on nectar from flowers.

Cuban flower bats have been reported as flying no faster than 6.7 km/h (4.2 mph), and the shape of the wings would suggest that they have difficulty hovering in place. Unlike other related bats, their echolocation calls are typically less than 50 kHz, and relatively long, lasting up to 7 seconds. In more enclosed spaces, like many bats, the calls are modified to shorter, frequency modulated sounds.

Distribution and Habitat

The Cuban flower bat is endemic to Cuba, Hispaniola, Isla de la Juventud, and surrounding smaller islands. On Hispaniola, it has been reported from both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It inhabits evergreen forest and scrubland at elevations up to 1,700 metres (5,600 ft). There are two generally recognised subspecies, although these are sometimes considered to be wholly separate species:

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Phyllonycteris poeyi poeyi
Cuba and Isla de la Juventud.
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Phyllonycteris poeyi obtusa