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These

bats

are

among

the

last

to

enter

hibernation,

seeking

out

caves,

buildings,

mines,

and

storm

sewers

October

to

November. Big brown bats can live to 19

years or longer in the wild.

Eastern pipistrelle

The eastern pipistrelle

(Pipistrellus

subflavus) lives in most of the eastern United States. It is also called the pygmy bat because of its small size, less than 3 ½ inches long, with an 8- to 10- inch wingspan. The fur is yellowish brown, darker on the back. The back hairs are tricolored: gray at the base, then a band of yellow brown, and dark brown at the tip. Its small size and blunt tragus helps distinguish it from other bats.

Pipistrelles take wing early in the evening and make short, elliptical flights at treetop level. In summer, they inhabit open woods near water, rock or cliff crevices, buildings, and caves. They hibernate deep inside caves from September to April or May. Pipistrelles eat flies, grain moths, and other insects.

6

Bats considered West Virginia:

uncommon in

Silver-haired bat

The silver-haired noctivagans) lives

bat (Lasionycteris throughout the United

States and parts of Canada. This bat is 3 to 4 inches long, with a wingspan of 10 to 12 inches. Fur is soft and long, blackish brown tipped with white, giving this bat a frosted look. The silver-haired bat lives in wooded areas bordering lakes and streams. It roosts in dense foliage, behind loose bark, and sometimes in caves. It begins feeding earlier than most bats, often before sunset. Because

they are tree-dwelling, problem around homes.

they

are

rarely

a

Red bat The red bat (Lasiurus borealis) lives in much of the United States and into Canada and Mexico. Bats living in the north may make long migrations. The sexes migrate separately. The red bat has bright rusty angora-like fur and sometimes has a frosted look. Wings are pointed. Length is about 4 ½ inches and the wingspan slightly under 13 inches. During the day, red bats hang by one foot, wrapped in their big furry tails. Red bats are solitary except for mating. Unlike most bats, red bats may give birth to twins or even triplets.

Red bats fly early in the evening and have been timed at an impressive 40 miles per hour. They are most often found along forest edges.

Unlike other hibernating bats, they may wake and feed, if temperatures rise above 55 degrees. They may also feed in bright sunlight. Red bats seldom enter human habitations.

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