The Characters


"Goth is based on a variety of spear-nosed bat called Vampyrum Spectrum. He’s a tropical bat that lives in Central and South America and south-east Asia. He has up to a three foot wingspan, so is much bigger than Shade or Marina. He is not an insectivore. He’s a carnivore. He eats mice, shrews, birds and if he can get them, bats -- so his diet also has a cannibalistic component. Vampyrum Spectrum is NOT the same thing as a Vampire bat. Vampire bats just drink the blood of living animals; the Vampyrum Spectrum devours the entire animal, and is a bigger species." - K.O.


Vampyrum Spectrum

Vampyrum Spectrum, also known as false vampire bats, are native to South & Central America and are the largest bat found in the Neotropics. Their dense woolly fur ranges from dark or chestnut brown to rust in colour and their ears and nose are very long. The Vampyrum Spectrum can have a wingspan of up to 1 meter.

False Vampire bats are generally the top of their order in the food chain, that is, without predators, and feed on birds, smaller varieties of bat, and rodents. They are called false vampires because it was once thought that they fed on blood rather than meat.

Vampyrum Spectrum are usually found in lowland, evergreen forest, occasionally in cloud or deciduous forests, fruit groves, pastures or swampy areas. They nest in groups of up to five individuals in hollow trees often near water.

Sources: BatKey, Animal Diversity Web

click image to enlarge

photo: © Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International, Inc

Silverwing © copyright Kenneth Oppel, published by HarperCollins Canada; illustrations by David Frankland, animation & website by Hoffworks