Fun Hairy-legged Vampire Bat Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Jan 04, 2023 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
The best hairy-legged vampire bat facts you will want to read.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) is an insectivorous species that roosts in caves and mines year-round. This species of vampire bats feed on scorpions, centipedes, crickets, and other wingless insects. Their front teeth are flat for crushing their prey as the two large incisors at the back corner can be used to chew up food pieces once they have been crushed by the long molars down near their chin. The ears look like flaps or valves sticking out from either side of its head which helps them locate tiny noises as well as distinguish differences between pitches when hunting for dinner. These bats prefer areas near water sources such as streams or rivers that may have tall trees nearby with an abundance of flowers growing overhead for them to feed on at all times.

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) bat has adapted to live in the rainforest of Central and South America. It feeds exclusively on blood which it gets from other animals that live there such as birds or bats. When hunting for food at night, this species of vampire bats uses their membrane wings like sails so that they can glide through the air without using any energy to fly up high enough into a tree canopy. Hairy-legged vampire bats are the most common bat in Latin America. They have dark brown or black fur and their hind legs can be up to twice as long as other species of bats, giving them the name hairy-legged. Do you know what these furry friends drink? Blood of birds! They use their long thin fingers and toes to hang upside down from the roof or ceiling of caves, attics, bridges- anywhere they can find food like insects! The name might be scary but this bat is actually very small and not dangerous at all for humans because its fangs cannot pierce skin.

For more relatable content, check out these Mexican free-tailed bat facts and hoary bat facts for kids.

Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a hairy-legged vampire bat?

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) is a species of vampire bat that lives in small groups.

What class of animal does a hairy-legged vampire bat belong to?

Hairy-legged vampire bats (Diphylla ecaudata) are mammals that belong to the class Mammalia and this bat mainly feeds on blood from other birds.

How many hairy-legged vampire bats are there in the world?

The answer varies depending on who you ask! Some say there are about 100-150 billion hairy-legged vampire bats in the world while others report numbers as high as one trillion or more. There's no way to know because they are hard to find let alone count.

Where does a hairy-legged vampire bat live?

These vampire bats live in the natural jungles and caves of Central and South America.

What is a hairy-legged vampire bat's habitat?

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) species lives in caves and rocky mountains. However, these vampire bats spend most of their time on the ground or low foliage near water sources where they find food such as insects, other small animals including lizards and common frogs, or blood from livestock nearby.

Who do hairy-legged vampire bats live with?

The hairy-legged vampire bat species lives in groups of other hairy-legged vampires. They are only found in Latin America and they can be identified by their uniquely furry legs that we don't see on any other bat in the Northern Hemisphere.

How long does a hairy-legged vampire bat live?

The hairy-legged vampire bat (Diphylla ecaudata) species are a rarity and scientists wonder how long they live. The longest recorded life span of one is 10 years old which means we can estimate that a hairy-legged vampire bat will live for at least 10 years, if the past trends continue.

How do they reproduce?

A hairy-legged vampire bat's mating season is late winter. During this time, males will congregate in roosts and engage in competitive displays to attract females for reproduction. A female produces one to four pups per year. However, only about a third of those survive their first week due to high infant mortality rates caused by malnutrition or predation.

What is their conservation status?

These mammals have the conservation status of Least Concern.

Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Fun Facts

What do hairy-legged vampire bats look like?

Hairy-legged vampire bats are a type of bat that have hair on their legs instead of fur. Their long, thin wings help them fly through the night sky and feed on blood from other animals to get more nutrients for themselves. They’re also pretty good at climbing trees. Their color range is from brown or gray to light shades of black.

High pitched sound emitting mammal facts

* Please note that this is an image of a fruit bat. If you have an image of a hairy-legged vampire bat please let us know at

How cute are they?

Humans are generally afraid of bats, however many people like bats and find them cute. The whole idea that a bat mainly feeds on blood is super creepy for most people.

How do they communicate?

Vampire bats are mammals that emit high pitched sounds that can range as much as 140 decibels, which is louder than most rock concerts. This echolocation enables them to find prey in total darkness and communicate with one another and find a blood diet for feeding their kids.

How big is a hairy-legged vampire bat?

These bats have a size range of about 2.7-3.7 in (7-10 cm) in length.

How fast can a hairy-legged vampire bat fly?

The average speed of these bats in flight is about 60 mph (90 kph).

How much does a hairy-legged vampire bat weigh?

With an average weight of 0.04-0.1 lb (20-45 g), these bats typically hunt for mosquitos for feeding on their blood near a natural water range such as ponds or streams at night time.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female hairy-legged vampire bats have no gender-specific names. They grow up to be almost identical in appearance as adults when compared side by side with only one large exception, the lone nick on their throats that distinguishes them from each other.

What would you call a baby hairy-legged vampire bat?

Their babies are known as pups and these tiny little bats love living in their natural habitats from the time they are born. These baby bats are very restless in their sleep. The tiny mammals twitch and turn, making little squeaking sounds as they cling to their mother's fur for warmth.

What do they eat?

This creature does not actually drink blood from human beings as most people think of vampire bats but instead consumes small birds like chipping sparrows, insects, mosquitoes, and even other bats.

Are they dangerous?

Hairy-legged vampire bats are not generally dangerous, but they can still be a hazard to humans if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vampire bat bites or scratches should always be treated as though there is rabies present and medical professionals will provide treatment accordingly.

Would they make a good pet?

The hairy-legged vampire bat is not a good pet because they absolutely love their natural habitat. This means that you would have to take them home from the wild which many people are unwilling to do.

Did you know...

A vampire bat is so small that you would have to be bitten by hundreds of them at once to die. However, if the rabies virus has infected your body and hasn't been treated in time there's a chance it can prove fatal.

Do vampire bats drink human blood?

Vampire bats do not drink human blood, but they are drawn to the smell of it because their nose is so sensitive. They prefer to feed on other animals that live in forests and hunt by night.

Where does a vampire bat roost?

Vampires need a safe place to roost during the day and caves are their favorite.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover!  Learn more about some other mammals from our swamp rabbit facts and Artic hare facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable vampire bat coloring pages.

* Please note that the main is an image of a fruit bat. If you have an image of a hairy-legged vampire bat please let us know at

Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Blood of birds, small birds, and insects

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

0.04-0.1 lb (20-45 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

caves, rocky mountains, and forests

Where Do They Live?

north america, central america, Mexico

How Long Were They?

2.7-3.7 in (7-10 in)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Diphylla ecaudata

What Do They Look Like?

Dark brown, black, and gray

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

hawks and eagles

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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