Bats in New Mexico

Spotted Bat SPOTTED BAT - Euderma maculatum

Weight: 16-20 grams

Wingspan: 34-36 centimeters

Distribution: From south central British Columbia to southern Mexico.

Ecology and Behavior: The spotted bat occurs in a wide range of habitats in the western regions of the continent, most often in rough, rocky, semi-arid and arid terrain, varying from ponderosa pine forest to scrub country and open desert. The day roosts often are situated on high cliffs. These bats crawl with ease on both horizontal and vertical surfaces, which facilitates their movement in rock crevices where they roost. Spotted bats emerge about an hour after dark and return to the day roost about an hour before sunrise. They fly high, usually 10-15 meters (33-50 feet), at or above treetop height, and have a loud high-pitched echolocation call that is clearly audible to the human observer at distances of 250 meters (825 feet) or more. Spotted bats may use a foraging strategy that involves hunting a regular circuit and searching clearings in pine forests for prey. These bats display a remarkable punctuality in making their rounds, arriving at various points along their route at the same time every night. In spring, they spend 3-5 minutes per clearing, but more time is spent around the same area in summer.

Food Habits: Diet consists primarily of moths.

Reproduction: One baby is born in June. When born, babies lack the color pattern of adults and weight about four (4) grams.

Status of Populations: One of the rarest bats in North America.

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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