Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.





Florida Nature: Bats (3)
 Northern long-eared bats are small bats that winter in FloridaNorthern Long-eared Myotis- Northern long-eared bats are small bats, typically 5-10 g and 84 mm in total length. The fur is dull brown on the dorsum and yellowish on the venter. Compared to other bat species, these bats have long ears with a relatively long tragus in each ear. This species is found primarily in coniferous forest from Newfoundland to the Yukon, and in the southeastern United States through to Florida. Although the northern long-eared myotis is common and widespread, much remains to be learned about its roosting habits, reproduction, and longevity. This bat is known to hibernate in caves and mines and to roost under tree bark. It is one of the gleaners, plucking insects from the surfaces of leaves, branches, and the ground rather than taking them from the air in flight. Northern long-eared myotis hang from a perch to eat, which lets them take larger insects than they could if they ate on the wing.



Found throughout the state, the most common species of solitary bat found in southern Florida is the northern yellow bat. Northern Yellow Bat- Found throughout the state, the most common species of solitary bat found in southern Florida is the northern yellow bat. A large, yellowish-brown bat with short ears and long, silky fur; These bats are larger than the red and Seminole bats. Clumps of Spanish moss make good daytime roosting places for northern yellow bats. Small groups of males or slightly larger groups of females are often found roosting together in forested areas near a permanent source of water. They are seldom found roosting in houses or other manmade structures. They feed over open spaces: they are seen over golf courses, beaches, and along the edges of ponds, hunting for mosquitoes, flies, and other insect prey. Barn owls are known to prey on them. Unlike most other Lasiurus bats, they have only two nipples, and if a female gives birth to more than two offspring, usually only two survive. Young are born in May or June and are flying by June or July.

Jamaican Fruit Bat is a florida bat that eats fruit and smells like soapRafinesque's Big-Eared Bat- Rafinesque's big-eared bat inhabits forests and streamside areas throughout the southeastern United States, including Florida. The most noticeable feature of this bat is its ears, which are more than an inch long. Rafinesque's big-eared bats are brown, with white-tipped fur on their belly. Their wings and interfemoral membrane are naked. This bat's large ears extend to middle of back when laid down. These agile flyers may be less frequently seen than some other bats because they leave their roosts only when it is completely dark, forage for insects in the dark, and return to their roosts before sunrise. Curiously, they prefer roosting in locations that have some amount of light. Their range overlaps that of several other forest-dwelling bats, such as the eastern pipistrelle, the big brown bat, and some members of the genus Myotis. The Rafinesque's big-eared bat inhabits forested regions of pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks, roosting in hollow trees, crevices behind bark, buildings and other man-made structures, and under dry leaves. These bats are gleaners and can sometimes be seen hovering to pick off insects from leaves. They are slower flyers with excellent maneuverability that allows them to fly close to vegetation. Rafinesque's big-eared bats may live as long as 10 years.

Rafinesque's big-eared bat inhabits forests and streamside areas throughout the southeastern United States, including Florida.Little Brown Bat-The little brown bat is a small mammal with a body length of 3 - 31/2 inches and weighing approximately 1/8 to 1/2 an ounce. The wingspan of little brown bats range from 6 - 8 inches. As their name suggests little brown bats are glossy brown above with a light buff color below. These bats can live 20 to 30 years. In summer the little brown bat inhabits trees, bat houses, and buildings, usually choosing a hot attic, where nursery colonies of hundreds and even thousands form. Less frequently colonies form beneath tar paper, siding, shingles, or other similar sheltered spots,. In the west colonies have been found beneath bridges and in caves. Single males have been found in attics, behind shutters under bark, in rock crevices, behind siding and under shingles. Groups of males occasionally occur in caves.

Seminole bat found through out the state of FloridaSeminole Bat- This bat is is a medium-sized bat with deep mahogany fur which is frosted at the tips, giving the bat a distinct reddish-maroon hue, unlike the reddish orange of eastern red bats. The Seminole bat has a furred tail membrane, well furred to the tip of its tail. Its fur extends along the underarms to the wrists, ending with distinctive white patches on the wrists and shoulders. The Seminole bat has a forearm length of 35-45 mm and weighs 8-15 g. It can best be distinguished from the red bat by its mahogany color. Hoary bats are much larger (forearm 50-57 mm) and yellow bats lack white wrist and shoulder markings. Unlike the eastern red bat, the Seminole doesn't vary in color between the sexes. Seminole bats are found in lowland, semi-forested and forested areas. Seminole bats are greatly associated with the distribution of tree-hanging Spanish moss, which they use as roosts, especially in longleaf pines and oaks that border a clearing. Seminole bats emerge early to forage, often concentrating above the tree crowns.
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