Bats in New Mexico

Long-legged Bat

LONG-LEGGED BAT - Myotis volans

Weight: 6-9 grams.

Wingspan: 25-27 centimeters.

Distribution: Southern Alaska and western Canada south­ward into northern Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior: The long-legged bat primarily inhab­its forested mountain regions, where it roosts in trees, rock crevices, cracks and crevices in stream banks, and in buildings. It also may be found in streamside and desert habitats in some areas. This bat emerges early in the evening when it is still twilight, and it is a rapid, direct flier that pursues prey over relatively long distances through, around, and over the forest canopy. This species is active throughout most of the night, although there is a peak of activity in the first 3-4 hours after sunset. It is moderately gregarious in maternity colonies and during swarming in late summer and hibernation. Hibernation sites include caves and mine tunnels. There usually are more males than females at hibernation sites. The ability to fly at cool temperatures may enable this species to extend the prehibernation period of activity.

Food Habits: The long-legged bat feeds primarily on moths, although it also consumes other, primarily soft-bodied invertebrates, including flies, termites, lacewings, wasps, true bugs, leafhoppers, and small beetles.

Reproduction: One baby is born in July. Maternity colonies may be in crevices in rocks, trees, stream banks, or in buildings. Lifespan may be up to 21 years.

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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