Coloring Page: National Pollinators Week | Bat

It’s officially National Pollinators Week! Join us for a weeklong celebration of the plants and animals that carry pollen. Plus we’re sharing ways you can help local pollinators too. This week, each coloring page is highlighting a different pollinator and showcases the hard work they do for Ohio plants and wildlife.

Bats are another friendly pollinator that take over during the night shift. The bats that live in Ohio are not necessarily pollinators, however. Bats are important pollinators in tropical and desert climates, like in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico.

Do you like tequila? You can thank bats for that! The lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae) and the Mexican long-tongued bat (Choeronycteris mexicana) are the agave plant’s primary pollinators. According to NPR, agave co-evolved with bats over thousands of years. As a result, agave is one of the very few plants that pollinates at night.

Agave isn’t the only plant bats pollinate. Pollinator bats like the lesser long-nosed bat, enjoy white flowers or flowers that are pale in color and very fragrant flowers that give off a rotten or fermented fruit-like aroma. The lesser long-nosed bat will reach deep inside a flower to get nectar, emerging with a hairy head covered in pollen, says Bat Conservation International. When they fly on to the next flower, they repeat the process, spreading the pollen all around.

Get more coloring pages here!

Lesser Long-Nosed Bat
A lesser long-nosed bat flies toward the white flowers of a Saguaro cactus. Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International/U.S. Forest Service