This species occurs throughout the Ecuadorian Andes, including the eastern and western slopes of the Andes of northern Ecuador, and the slopes of the Cordillera de Cndor and Cordillera del Cutuc in southern Ecuador. Its known distribution is restricted to higher elevations (1,300-1,890 m on the eastern and 2,000-2,275 m on the western slopes), where it inhabits montane cloud forests (Muchhala et al., 2005).
This bat inhabits mid elevations of outer slopes of the Andes. One specimen was captured in the Numbala caves, where it was roosting with 4 other individuals. All specimens have been collected in mature cloud forest habitat. Anoura fistulata consumes nectar and pollen from a number of large-flowered plants, and supplements its diet with insects. Pollen was collected from the fur of 4 individuals. Three were carrying pollen from unidentified bromeliads, 2 from Marcgravia, 2 from Meriania, 2 from Centropogon nigricans, and 1 from Markea. A faecal sample collected from 1 of these 3 contained pollen of Marcgravia, Aphelandra acanthus, and bromeliads, as well as wing scales of Lepidoptera and other insect parts. The gut contents of a 5th individual contained insect parts and pollen from Pitcairnia brogniartiana, Marcgravia coriaceae, and Markea (Muchhala et al., 2005).
The tube-lipped nectar bat (Anoura fistulata) is a bat from Ecuador that was first described in 2005. The species name fistulata is derived from the Latin word fistula, meaning "tube". It refers to the bat's lower lip, which extends 3.3–4.8 mm beyond the upper lip and is rolled into a funnel shape. The exact function of the tube-lip is unknown. The bat has the longest tongue (8.5 cm) relative to its body size of any mammal. Its tongue is 150% the size of its overall body length.
Despite its exceptionally long tongue, the tube-lipped nectar bat has a varied diet that includes nectar, pollen, and insects. This arrangement is possible due to its short jaw. The base of the tongue is in the bat's rib cage. One plant, Centropogon nigricans, with its 8– to 9-cm-long corollae, is pollinated exclusively by this bat.
Anoura fistulata has been found at its northernmost point in Pueblo Rico, in the Colombian Andes down to the eastern side of the Andes Mountains in Condor Mirador, Ecuador. They have been found between 1175 m to 2517 m. Recently discovered on both sides of the Andes mountain range (Mantilla-Meluk and Baker 2008). A previously described species of A. cadenai was determined as an A. fistulata after further investigation into the mandibles and teeth of the specimen. The specimen had an enlarged keel in the mandible and its upper canines do not have the sulcus typically found in the A. cadenai. This constituted the first record of the A. fistulata from Llorente, Colombia. It is known to inhabit mature cloud forests on the mid-elevation slopes of the Andes. In 2008, the geographic range was extended into Peru after a specimen was found at Playa Colorado (Mantilla-Meluk 2014).