This is the larger of the two resident Galapagos bat species, and it can be found throughout the Galapagos archipelago, with recorded populations on Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Isabela, Santiago, and Floreana Islands.
Like its fellow resident, the Galapagos Red Bat, the Hoary Bats on the archipelago have not been well studied. The Hoary bat is found throughout North America, where it migrates south for winter. It’s thought that the Galapagos Hoary Bats stay in the islands all year round, where they feed at greater heights than the smaller Red Bats, although they chase similar prey - flies, cicadas, moths and so on - and like most bats they hunt at night using echolocation.
The Hoary Bat is so-called because its long, dense grey-brown fur is tipped with white - making the bat look like it as a covering of frost, or hoar. It’s one of the more attractive bat species, with this dense fur covering giving it an almost “cuddly” appearance!
Hoary bats don’t roost together in colonies, instead they prefer to roost in dense vegetation on their own, hanging upside down under the tree canopies. In the Galapagos they are best seen on the inhabited islands where, like the smaller Red Bat, they will hunt around the streetlights that attract their insect prey. If you are enjoying an overnight stay before or after your Galapatours cruise on either San Cristobal or Santa Cruz you may well have the chance to observe these creatures as you walk in the evenings.
Fast Facts about the Galapagos Hoary Bat
- Hoary Bats like to roost in trees and wooded areas, especially mangroves
- Hoary Bats are occasionally seen taking insects attracted to streetlights in populated areas
- The Hoary Bat is so called because of the white tips of its fur which look like it has been covered with hoar frost
- Hoary Bats are solitary, and roost individually.