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Bloodsucking Bats

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"I am just like a big mosquito, okay!?"

Bats in real life come in a variety of species, which have a variety of diets. Some eat fruit, while others fly around hunting for insects, but the most known group consume the blood of animals like cattle. Bats like these are indigenous to South and Central America only. While they don't "suck" blood in the vampiric sense, their blood-feeding nature has become infused with vampire lore for some time since the late 19th Century. In return, the association with vampires means many fictional bats and their equivalents are considered to be bloodsuckers, or otherwise have a way of draining the life out of their food.

This trope only covers actual bats and their in-universe equivalents, not vampires or Bat People. For the vampire scenario, see Vampiric Draining.

Compare Bat Scare and One-Eyed Bats, which are other bat-related tropes. Subtrope of Bat Out of Hell, as bats of the blood-sucking variety tend to be considered scary or vicious. Not related to Goddamn Bats, but they may overlap. Compare Blind Bats, another trope based on a common misconception about the life habits of bats.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Inuyasha has a clan of bat youkai who repeatedly attack humans and suck their blood out.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Bloodhunter Bat hunts and retrieves blood for its undead masters, represented by its ability removing life from your opponent and giving it to you.
      It returns eager to share the feast of blood and gore with its ghoulish master.
    • Aclazotz, the Ixalani bat god of the night, is responsible for the creation of his plane's vampires, having taught the original rituals used in their creation to the human who would become the first vampire.

    Comic Books 
  • Kingdom Kong: Camazotz is a bat-like Titan with a ravenous thirst for other Titans' atomic blood, and he would have feasted on Kong's if he defeated him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Discussed in an arc where Calvin has to write a report on bats. Having not done any research, he claims that bats are blood-sucking bugs, which is immediately debunked by his teacher and classmates.

    Fan Works 
  • Born to Be Wilde: Lucy Sang the bat will gladly take the opportunity to drink someone's blood when it presents itself, even if she's not particularly thirsty. Rodents are her favorite prey.
  • When Instinct Falls: Vladzotz Fangpyre the bat crime lord has a vampire-like style of fashion and a literal thirst for blood.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Vampire Bats: The monsters are a colony of mutant bats that drink human blood. Their mutations have causes them to grow eight upper-jaw fangs instead of two, allowing them to drain immense amounts of blood at once, and their presence is first noticed when several human corpses turn up without a drop of blood in their veins.

    Jokes 
  • A trio of blood sucking bats meet on roof. The first one has bloody mouth, the second one has bloody head and the third one is bloody all over.
    First bat: (bloody mouth) "See that village? Well, I sucked them all out."
    Second bat: (bloody head) "See that town? Well, I sucked them ll out."
    Third bat: (bloody all over) "See that chimney? Well, I didn't."

    Literature 
  • The Death Gate Cycle: Bloodsuckers, gigantic bats native to the Labyrinth, secrete a paralyzing venom through their fangs that renders their prey immobile and helpless as the bat drains every drop of blood from their bodies.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: The jungles of Sothoryos are said to be home to giant white bats that can drain a man's blood in seconds, among other terrors.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
  • Monster Warriors: In "Megabatua", the Monster Warriors attempt to combat gigantic vampire bats which have invaded Capital City Hospital and depleted its blood supply.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Aboriginal Australian Myths: In Yolngu oral traditions, the Garkain is a bat thing that drinks blood, though sometimes it is depicted as bird-like instead.
  • Philippine Mythology: The Manananggal is a vampiric creature that has a proboscis it uses to drink blood, as well as bat wings.

    Radio 
  • The Shadow: In "The Mark of the Bat", Stevens breeds unusually aggressive vampire bats that can attack people and, in groups, drain them dry of blood.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 1st Edition AD&D supplement Monster Manual II describes fire bats, creatures from the Elemental Plane of Fire. They attack other creatures by biting down on them with their razor-sharp fangs and drinking the victim's blood. Once they have drained blood for three minutes, they are satiated and return to their lair.
    • Greyhawk: The bat god Camazotz is a ravenous drinker of blood.
  • Exalted: While most bat beastmen don't have particularly remarkable dietary habits, one population drinks blood.
  • Fabula Ultima: The Vampire Bat enemy is an oversized bat with a taste for human blood.
  • Pathfinder: Sabosans are batlike humanoids who feed by drinking the blood of other beings, preferably other humanoids. While their true origins aren't known, they're rumored to descend from humans who were afflicted with vampirism but managed to avoid fully succumbing to it.

    Video Games 
  • Arc the Lad: Bat monsters all have the ability to suck life out of enemies, animated as sucking blood.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: The Vampire Bat line suck the blood of their victims when they attack. This is reflected in gameplay by the bats healing with every successful hit.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: Exaggerated with Count Batula, an anthropomorphic vampire bat who turns Conker into a bat and tasks him with picking up the angry villagers invading his castle, and dropping them into Batula's grinder machine, which turns the villagers into red mush which Batula drinks up greedily.
  • Donkey Kong '94: It's implied that the bat enemy is vampiric, as it makes a "suck-suck" noise when it touches Mario.
  • Dusk Diver: Subverted. Boss refers to Bahet the flying fox as "young vampire", but the latter replies that he is a vegetarian.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy 4 "Blood Bats", whose description in the bestiary starts with: "A bloodsucking enemy"
  • Golden Krone Hotel is a vampire-themed roguelike and so it also features the trope, but puts a spin on it by making the bats less vampiric, and more outright demonic, affiliated only with the other demons. This is likely so that the player would not be able to escape the wrath of these life-draining fiends by simply staying in Sorina's vampiric form.
  • Guild Wars 2: Bats are an environmental enemy. Some steal health/hp (which is portrayed as red droplets); others cause bleeding, a Damage Over Time condition.
  • Infra Arcana: The Vampire Bats, like the Giant Bats, they are said to be as tall as a human, and so are tougher than the most examples, but they can also directly heal themselves with every successful attack they inflict upon the player character.
  • Paladins: Lillith's Swarm ability summons a swarm of crimson bats to a circle that will damage enemies and give her Blood. Inverted for allies in the circle — apparently they're also Bloodgiving Bats since they'll heal allies.
  • La Pucelle: The bit monsters, essentially small bats, all have the suck blood ability.
  • Pokémon: Zubat and its evolution line are capable of learning the move Leech Life, which is described as a "blood-draining attack" that also replenishes the user's HP. All of Golbat's dex entries describe how it sucks blood even until it becomes too full and heavy to fly, and Crobat's entries also mention bloodsucking.
  • Polandball: Can into Space!: Romania makes bats appear that drain Poland's blood and health.
  • Primal Legends: The animation for Chasqa the bat performing a Life Drain on an enemy hero is of her biting down on her target.
  • Tribal Hunter: The tuxedo bat enemies attack Munch by latching onto him and sucking his blood and sapping his health which requires you to button mash to shake them off. If you let the bat keep sucking, it'll eventually overindulge and grow very fat, which will incapacitate it.
  • Wario Land 4: Although this is not visible in-game, the manual's description of Wario's Bat Wario form describes Miniculas (small bat enemies that turn Wario into this form on contact) as sucking blood.
    "When that twerpy little bat Minicula bites me and sucks my blood, I turn into a bat! My big, macho arms turn into puny little wings! By the way, what's my blood type? You sucked my blood, the least you can do is tell me that! What a pest!"

    Web Videos 
  • Natural Habitat Shorts: Shorts like "Cranmas" and "Fine Dying" show Batrick the bat drinking blood.
  • TierZoo: Vampire bats are discussed as part of the "Are Bats OP?" episode. In general, their hematophagy is considered Awesome, but Impractical, due to lacking the Required Secondary Powers of a high enough stealth stat to avoid being detected by a conscious victim. It's theorized that vampire bats were more efficient during the Ice Age, where several giant mammals had a harder time detecting them due to the size difference.
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    Western Animation 
  • Back to the Outback: The bat colony that helps the group is stated by Dave to drink warm blood, and Maddie tells one (Vlad) to get away from Pretty Boy’s neck. Notably, official material lists them as flying foxes, which are herbivores.
  • Brandy & Mr. Whiskers: Double subverted in "The Curse of the Vampire Bat" where they meet a bat named Vlad. Whiskers is scared because "bats suck blood" but Vlad says he is a fruit bat. After some shenanigans, we discover that Vlad is indeed a blood bat, but that he specifically drinks only cow and horse blood and that he hides it because people are always too scared to hear any explanation.
  • Count Duckula: In "Bloodsucking Fruit Bats of the Lower Amazon", Igor is summoning his new pet, a "bloodsucking fruit bat" and plots to use his pet to convert Count Duckula into the vampire that he truly is, but fails when he finds out that Nanny and Duckula have been treating the bat as a benevolent pet.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Dracula himself clears up the misconception about vampires. Contrary to popular belief, vampires don't suck the blood of their victims, they scrape and lick their victims, like actual vampire bats.
    Dracula: Vampires! Don't! Suck! They scrape and lick. [wiggles his tongue] Scrape and lick. [wiggles his tongue]
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The vampire fruit bats in "Bats!" do a G-rated version of this in which they suck all the juice out of apples, acting as a menace on Applejack's farm, and hold their wings like a vampire's cloak when sitting.

    Real Life 
  • While no bat sucks blood, as such, three species of vampire bat exist — the common vampire bat, the white-winged vampire bat and the hairy-legged vampire bat, all found in South and Mesoamerica. They feed exclusively on blood (usually of birds and large mammals), which they obtain by biting open small wounds in their skin and licking up the blood as it flows out, relying on anticoagulants in their saliva to keep it from clotting until they're done.

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