This is Ectophyla alba, the Honduran White Bat, photographed in the Tirimbina Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. These cozy critters make their homes on the undersides of heliconia leaves, where the ends bend down to form a tent and conceal the small white cotton balls from potential predators roaming around the forest. From above, when the sunlight hits the leaves, the white bats appear green, and are therefore undetectable-- so I am told by the rangers later in the day. When I find this brood, the sky is overcast and the bats virtually undetectable, for all but the most trained eyes. It is Dr. Richard LaVal who waves me over to the drooping heliconia leaf to see them; he is a bat biologist who lives in Monteverde, a tall, thin seventy-nine-year-old still wandering around the rainforests and bat caves of Central America studying "the so-called extinct bats." One of the early conservationists in this part of the world, LaVal is eccentric, dismissive, abstracted, often rambling-- everything you could hope for in a field biologist. But if you ask him, he will show you where the white bats sleep beneath the heliconias in the endangered lowland rainforests of Costa Rica.