Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat (Diphylla ecaudata) – A Species Profile


The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) is a fascinating and unique mammal from the Phyllostomidae family. As one of the three extant species of vampire bats, it possesses remarkable adaptations for its blood-feeding lifestyle. This species is known for its specialized diet, primarily feeding on the blood of wild birds. Still, it also demonstrates the ability to feed on domestic birds and even humans in certain circumstances.


The Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat is distinguished by its hairy legs, which set it apart from other vampire bat species. Its fur is generally dark in coloration, and it possesses a robust build with a wingspan of approximately 8 inches. These physical attributes enable it to navigate its natural habitat precisely and efficiently.


This vampire bat predominantly inhabits the tropical and subtropical forestlands of South America, Central America, and southern Mexico. It is known to have a widespread distribution, with populations found in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. The species shows adaptability to a range of habitats within these regions, contributing to its overall resilience and population stability.

Habitat Preferences

The Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat thrives in diverse ecosystems, including tropical and subtropical forests, where it finds suitable roosting sites and abundant prey sources. These habitats provide the necessary conditions for the species to maintain its blood-feeding lifestyle and ensure its survival. The ability to adapt to various forested environments has contributed to the species’ success in these regions.

Overall, the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat’s unique characteristics, distribution, and habitat preferences underscore its significance within the natural world and highlight the importance of conserving its ecosystems to ensure the continued well-being of this remarkable species.

Facts About Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat

1. The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) is one of three extant species of vampire bats.
2. It mainly feeds on the blood of wild birds, but can also feed on domestic animals.
3. The species is relatively large, with a sooty-brown color and no tail.
4. It has a narrow, hairy interfemoral membrane and short, rounded ears.
5. The hairy-legged vampire bat has a short, pug-nosed snout.
6. This species is smaller than other vampire bat species, with wider ears and larger eyes.
7. Hairy-legged vampire bats are primarily restricted to Central and South America.
8. They are known for their unique feeding behavior, where they make a small incision in the skin of their prey to feed on blood.
9. These bats are important in their ecosystems as they help control bird populations and may also play a role in pollination and seed dispersal.
10. Hairy-legged vampire bats are a fascinating example of specialized feeding behavior in the animal kingdom.

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