Flight speeds of adult common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) were investigated in Colima, Mexico, during 2005. Individuals were captured in a small abandoned irrigation tunnel and transported to a nearby flyway (simulated cave passage) constructed in forested habitat. Using stopwatches, rates of travel were measured over a known distance. Males averaged 13.82 km/h (range 9.6 to 27.3 km/h; n = 18) and females 13.36 km/h (range 7.2 to 23.4 km/h; n = 29). Flight speeds of males and females were not significantly different. Contrary to some previous studies, no significant correlation was found between length of forearm and flight speed. Our findings provide the first report of flight speeds for D. rotundus.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3