Bats in New Mexico

Fringed Bat

FRINGED BAT - Myotis thysanodes

Weight: 5-7 grams.

Wingspan: 27-30 centimeters.

Distribution: Southcentral British Columbia, Canada, west­ern United States, and most of Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior: The fringed bat occurs in a variety of habitats from desert-scrub to fir-pine associations. Oak and pinyon woodlands appear to be the most commonly used vegetative associations. Roost sites may be in caves, mines, and buildings. There are periodic changes in roost sites within a maternity roost because of ther­moregulatory requirements of the bats; for example, clusters of bats move in response to temperature changes in different parts of the roost. Fringed bats are known to migrate, but little is known about the magnitude of movements. Females prepare physiologically for hibernation during the post-lactation period late summer and early autumn, prior to migration. Individuals may awake from periodically throughout winter.

Food Habits: Diet includes beetles and moths. These bats forage close to the vegetative canopy, and have relatively slow and highly maneuverable flight.

Reproduction: Mating takes place in autumn. Ovulation, fertilization, and implantation occur late April and early May, and one baby is born in late June or early July. Birth occurs in a down posture. After parturition, newborn bats are placed in a cluster separate from adults. It Adults then fly periodically to the cluster of newborn, suckle their baby, and return to their original roost site.

Status of Populations: Common.

Thanks to T. L. Best, J. S. Altenbach, and M. J. Harvey for permission to reprint portions of Bats of the Western United States, 1998.

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