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Bats considered Virginia:




Hoary Bat

The hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is the most widely distributed bat in North America, found in all 50 states. It is the only native land mammal of Hawaii. Hoary bats live from Iceland through Central America and Chile, although they are considered uncommon in the eastern United States. At 6 inches long and with a 16-inch wingspan, hoary bats also the largest bats in the eastern



forests. Their

fur is




with white.



conspicuous yellowish or which looks

white orange like a

wrist markings and fur around the throat, collar. These bats are

solitary except

for mating and

They eat moths

and mosquitoes.


Hoary bats prefer to roost in trees in places such as woods, farmlands, and forest edges. They are strong, swift fliers that begin feeding later in the evening than most other bats.

Evening Bat

The evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) lives in the eastern United States and into Mexico. It is a small brown bat with no distinctive characteristics, except that the tragus is short, curved, and rounded. Not a great deal is known about its feeding habits or seasonal movements. They are common around southern coastal areas.

Indiana Bat

The Indiana bat, also known as Indiana Myotis (Myotis sodalis) resembles the little brown bat, but Indiana bats have a pinkish cast to their fur, giving them a light purple- brown color. Length is about 3 ½ inches, and the wingspan 10 inches. Indiana bats usually roost in trees in the summer; however, in winter, more than 90 percent of


the total population hibernates in certain large caves in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois. These bats are vulnerable to disturbances by cave explorers, and repeated disturbances may destroy the bats due to burning up energy before spring arrives. Indiana bats are on the periphery of their eastern United States range in West Virginia, but significant colonies exist in the state, including one cave that has thousands of hibernating bats each winter.

Small-footed Myotis

The small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) is one of the smallest bats in North America, with a 3- inch length and 9-inch wingspan. The small- footed bat resembles the little brown bat, but has a golden tint to its fur. Feeding and breeding habits are probably similar to those of the other small Myotis bats. The small- footed bat hibernates during November in cracks in walls, floors, roofs, and similar locations, singly or in groups. It emerges in


Virginia Big-eared Bat

The Virginia Big-eared



townsendii virginianus) is quite rare in West Virginia. It is easily recognized with its very long ears, which are over an inch high, and joined across the forehead. There are also two prominent lumps on the nose of this unusual bat. The general color is clove brown. These bats live in caves, mine tunnels, and buildings. The bats are colonial in nurseries and during hibernation, but may be solitary otherwise.

Most of the world’s Virginia big-eared bats live in West Virginia, including the largest known concentration of hibernating individuals and the largest known maternity colony of females.

The northern bat or northern Myotis (Myotis keenii), and Rafinesque’s bat (Plecotus rafinesquii ) also occur in the

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