Histiotus is a genus of South American vesper bats[1] with species that include:

Most species of Histiotus are rare in Paraguay, known only from a few records, they are not abundant or widespread, and have been collected for the first time only recently. Researchers have been able to collect many of the Histiotus at human dwellings or around domestic animals, due to the significant increase in human activity in the Paraguayan Chaco over the last 20 years.[2]

Histitus macrotus
Small big-eared brown bat (Histiotus montanus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Tribe: Vespertilionini
Genus: Histiotus
Gervais, 1856

Histiotus alienus
Histiotus humboldti
Histiotus laephotis
Histiotus macrotus
Histiotus magellanicus
Histiotus montanus
Histiotus velatus


Histiotus is found in the tropical and temperate zones in South America. Their natural habitat ranges from areas with rocky mountains, to woods in Paraguay, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.[3] Only Histiotus macrotus is specifically found in the Dry Chaco region, which is part of the Gran Chaco region. A strong significant correlation, was found by researchers for the distribution of Histiotus related to the composition of the vegetation in Paraguay.[4]


Echolocation and feeding

Histiotus are aerial feeders and use echolocation to catch prey. They can create echolocation calls dominated by frequencies below 20 Hz in order to catch prey. Histiotus diet consists of insects, specifically H. montanus mainly eats butterflies and Dipterans (fly). H. macrotus eats Dipterans and H. velatus eat moths.[5]

Social systems

Most of the species are colonial and some are considered individual. Individual systems are considered for bats that interact as one or less than ten bats.[3] Females of most temperate zone bats form maternity colonies during summer to communally raise pups. These colonies allow individuals to reduce heat loss by forming a cluster. This is called social thermoregulation. (For more on metabolism go to: Metabolism).[6]

Flying adaptations

Flight performance is determined by wing shape and ecological aspects such as foraging behavior (the way they search for food) and habitat selection. Research showed that H. montanus and H. macrotus have high maneuverability and low speed, which corresponds to bats that inhabit wooded areas. The high maneuverability or ability to quickly alter flight direction and speed is important for bats to successfully capture prey and avoid predators.[7]

Respiratory and cardiovascular adaptations

Adaptation for flight involves many systems, and specifically cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Bats are considered as mammals adapted to extreme environments where oxygen management is crucial. Respiratory and cardiovascular systems undergo changes that allow the organism to optimize the acquisition and delivery of oxygen to tissues to be able to survive this extreme way of life.[7] Research done on H.macrotus and H.montanus shows that they have the same respiratory strategy as other bats: "narrow-based high-keyed strategy." This strategy includes:

  1. larger heart and cardiac output
  2. high hematocrit, high hemoglobin concentration and high blood oxygen transport capacity and
  3. optimization of respiratory structural parameters. In other words, these bats are able to make the most effective use of their respiratory structure.[8]


For bats, energy demands are particularly high during pregnancy or lactation. One way many bats are able to save energy is through the use of torpor, which is a controlled, substantial drop in metabolic rate and body temperature (metabolism). In addition to hibernation (prolonged torpor) during winter, temperate zone bats, such as Histiotus, often become torpid during periods of cold weather in summer (daily torpor) to save energy. By reducing metabolic rate, torpor prolongs gestation length and impairs lactation. This results in late births and slow juvenile growth rates. This reduces the probability for juveniles to survive their first winter, because not enough time has passed to store proper amounts of fat prior to hibernation. This is why females of most temperate zone bats, such as Histiotus, form maternity colonies during summer to communally raise pups. These colonies allow individuals to reduce heat loss by forming a cluster and therefore by their behavior they are able to improve insulation and this results in the conservation of energy.[6]


  1. ^ Simmons, Nancy B. (2005), "Chiroptera", in Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M. (eds.), Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed), Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 312–529, ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0, retrieved 2 October 2009
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2012-12-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b http://www.scielo.cl/pdf/rchnat/v78n2/art05.pdf
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ http://www.scielo.br/pdf/rbzool/v16n4/v16n4a17.pdf
  6. ^ a b Communally breeding bats use physiological and behavioural adjustments to optimise daily energy expenditure - Springer
  7. ^ a b http://cdn.intechopen.com/pdfs/19662/InTech-Biomechanical_respiratory_and_cardiovascular_adaptations_of_bats_and_the_case_of_the_small_community_of_bats_in_chile.pdf
  8. ^ Canals, Mauricio; Atala, Cristian; Olivares, ricardo; Guajardo, Francisco; Figueroa, Daniela P.; Sabat, Pablo; Rosenman, Mario Rosenmann (2005). "Functional and structural optimization of the respiratory system of the bat Tadarida brasiliensis (Chiroptera, Molossidae): does airway geometry matter?". Journal of Experimental Biology. 208 (20): 3987–3995. doi:10.1242/jeb.01817. PMID 16215224.

Arielulus is a genus of vesper bats with the following species, sometimes in Pipistrellus:

Genus Arielulus

Collared pipistrelle (A. aureocollaris)

Black-gilded pipistrelle (A. circumdatus)

Coppery pipistrelle (A. cuprosus)

Social pipistrelle (A. societatis)

Necklace pipistrelle (A. torquatus)


Barbastella is a small genus of vespertilionid bats. There are five described species in this genus.

Big-eared brown bat

The big-eared brown bat (Histiotus macrotus) is a species of vesper bat found in Argentina, Paraguay, and Chile.


Hesperoptenus is a genus of bats within the Vespertilionidae or "Vesper bats" family. Species within this genus are:

Blanford's bat (Hesperoptenus blanfordi)

False serotine bat (Hesperoptenus doriae)

Gaskell's false serotine (Hesperoptenus gaskelli)

Tickell's bat (Hesperoptenus tickelli)

Large false serotine (Hesperoptenus tomesi)

Humboldt big-eared brown bat

Humboldt big-eared brown bat (Histiotus humboldti) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is found in Colombia and Venezuela.

Histiotus humboldti is distributed in the subtropical forests of the eastern foothills of the mountains outside the Ecuadorian Andes, between 800 and 1000-1800 and 2000 meters in the eastern subtropical zoogeographical floor (Albuja et. al. 1980), unlike Histiotus montanus (Philippi and Landbeck, 1861), which is recorded at higher altitudes 1800 and 2000-2800 and 3000–4000 meters and live in other ecosystems of the Andes, on two floors zoogegraficos the Temple and the High Andes (Albuja et al. 1980)


Laephotis is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae. Species within this genus are:

Angolan long-eared bat (Laephotis angolensis)

Botswanan long-eared bat (Laephotis botswanae)

Namib long-eared bat (Laephotis namibensis)

De Winton's long-eared bat (Laephotis wintoni)

List of mammals of South America

This is a list of the native wild mammal species recorded in South America. South America's terrestrial mammals fall into three distinct groups: 'old-timers', African immigrants and recent North American immigrants. The marsupials and xenarthrans are 'old-timers', their ancestors having been present on the continent since at least the very early Cenozoic Era. During the early Cenozoic, South America's only land connection was to Antarctica, so it was effectively cut off from most of the world; as the fragments of Gondwana continued to separate, this connection was lost, leaving South America an island continent. Caviomorph rodents and monkeys arrived as 'waif dispersers' by rafting across the Atlantic from Africa in the Eocene epoch, 35 million or more years ago. All the remaining nonflying mammals of South America are recent arrivals, having migrated from North America via Central America during the past seven million years as part of the Great American Interchange; this invasion, which peaked around three million years ago, was made possible when the formation of the volcanic Isthmus of Panama bridged North and South America. The newcomers out-competed and drove to extinction many unique mammals that had evolved during South America's long period of isolation, as well as some species from other classes (e.g., terror birds).South America suffered another major loss of mammal species in the Quaternary extinction event, which started around 12500 cal BP, at roughly the time of arrival of Paleoindians, and may have lasted up to several thousand years. At least 37 genera of mammals were eliminated, including most of the megafauna. While South America currently has no megaherbivore species weighing more than 1000 kg, prior to this event it had a menagerie of about 25 of them (consisting of gomphotheres, camelids, ground sloths, glyptodonts, and toxodontids – 75% of these being 'old-timers'), dwarfing Africa's present and recent total of 6.Anthropogenic climate change and the damage to its ecosystems resulting from the rapid recent growth of the human population pose a further threat to South America's biodiversity.

The list consists of those species found in the nations or overseas territories of continental South America (including their island possessions, such as the Galápagos), as well as in Trinidad and Tobago and the Falkland Islands; Panama is not included. As of May 2012, the list contains 1331 species, 340 genera, 62 families and 15 orders. Of the taxa from nonflying, nonmarine groups (992 species, 230 genera, 40 families and 12 orders), 'old-timers' comprise 14% of species, 15% of genera, 20% of families and 42% of orders; African immigrants make up 38% of species, 30% of genera, 40% of families and 17% of orders; North American invaders constitute 49% of species 55% of genera, 40% of families and 50% of orders. At the order level, the 'old-timers' are overrepresented because of their ancient local origins, while the African immigrants are underrepresented because of their 'sweepstakes' mode of dispersal.

Of the species, 9 are extinct, 29 are critically endangered, 64 are endangered, 111 are vulnerable, 64 are near-threatened, and 255 are data-deficient. Mammal species presumed extinct since AD 1500 (nine or ten cases) are included. Domestic species (e.g., the guinea pig, alpaca, and llama) and introduced species are not listed.

NOTE: this list is inevitably going to be incomplete, since new species are continually being recognized via discovery or reclassification. Places to check for missing species include the Wikipedia missing mammal species list, including recently removed entries, and the species listings in the articles for mammalian genera, especially those of small mammals such as rodents or bats.

The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the IUCN; those on the left are used here, those in the second column in some other articles:

The IUCN status of all listed species except bats was last updated during the period from March to June 2009; bats were updated in September 2009.


Scotoecus is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae.

Small big-eared brown bat

The small big-eared brown bat (Histiotus montanus) is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It can be found in the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Southern big-eared brown bat

The southern big-eared brown bat (Histiotus magellanicus) is a species of bat from the family Vespertilionidae. Although current taxonomy treats the southern big-eared brown bat as a separate species, it is often treated as a subspecies of the small big-eared brown bat. It lives in the forests of southern Argentina and Chile; though the population of the bat in the southern part of its habitat is low, there are no major concerns to justify anything lower than a Least Concern rating in the IUCN Red List. There is some habitat destruction, as well as trouble with beavers in Tierra del Fuego.Histiotus magellanicus occasionally use cavities in standing dead trees or large living trees in decays as roosting sites.

Spotted bat

The spotted bat (Euderma maculatum) is a bat species from the family of vesper bats and the only species of the genus Euderma.

Strange big-eared brown bat

The strange big-eared brown bat (Histiotus alienus), is a bat species from South America. It is found in Brazil.

Thomas's big-eared brown bat

Thomas's big-eared brown bat (Histiotus laephotis) is a species of vesper bat found in South America.

Tropical big-eared brown bat

The tropical big-eared brown bat (Histiotus velatus), is a bat species from South America. It is found in Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay


The Vespertilioninae are a subfamily of vesper bats from the family Vespertilionidae.

Species of subfamily Vespertilioninae


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