Little Brown Bat Facts | Anatomy, Diet, Habitat, Behavior

The little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) is one of the most recognized bats in the New World. They are also called ‘little brown myotis’. The bats are most commonly found in the North America. It has long been studied in laboratories to understand the general behavior of bats.

Little Brown Bat Facts

Anatomy

  • The little brown bat has a wingspan of about 7.9 to 10.6 in (20–27 cm). They have 1.4–1.6 in (3.5–4 cm) long forearm.
  • Males are smaller than females.
  • They grow up to 3.1–3.7 in (8–9.5 cm) in body length. Little brown bats are often confused with big brown bat but the latter is bigger in size.
  • Adult bats weigh up to 0.21–0.49 oz (6–14 g). They have light to dark brown body that goes even whitish on its belly.
  • They are nearly the size of the Indiana bat.
  • The little brown bat burns energy too quickly (during flight) because its heart beats about 1,200 times a minute. However while resting the heart rate falls down to 300 beats per minute.

Distribution

Little brown bats occur in North America, occupying south-central Alaska, southern Canada, as well as southwestern and extreme southeastern United States.

little brown bat facts
Little Brown Bat ©www.pbase.com

Habitats

  • They are likely to make homes in a wide variety of habitats. They live in the wooden vents, while in summer bats breed in the tree hollows.
  • They are also thought to live in the human-built structures. Little brown bats like to live in places near water or woods.
  • Bats hibernate in winter.

Behavior

  • While male brown bats spend all summer living alone females roost in large colonies consisting of 1,000 bats. They typically make colonies in hot areas where temperatures rise above 100o
  • During the breeding season, males and females will understandably roost together in caves.
  • They are known to migrate 150 mi (250 km) between the summer and winter roosting sites.
  • The captive bats sleep almost 20 hours a day. By doing so it conserves most of its energy.
  • While flying little brown bats emit 20 calls per second however while chasing insects they produce 200 calls each second.
  • They are known to generate a honking

Feeding Ecology & Diet

  • Like most bats species, little brown bats are insectivorous. They hunt in flight and their prey includes chironomid flies, mosquitoes, wasps, beetles, midges, gnats, mayflies, and moths.
  • They are likely to find aquatic insects because their habitats are near short water bodies.
  • It takes 20 – 30 minutes for brown bats to digest the whole lot of insects.
  • In a single night adult bats may consume insects more than their body weight.
  • They will be active during the early part of evening or at dawn.

Reproductive Biology

  • After a gestation period of about 50 – 60 days single young is born. The birth mostly occurs in the mid-summer or late spring.
  • The young will remain in the nest for almost a month after which it flies.
  • In about two months the young will reach the full size.
  • They attain maturity at 1 – 2 year age.
  • Young reach adulthood in 18 days.
  • In the wild they have lived up to 33 years.
  • Predators of little brown bats include raptors that hunt bats in flight. They are also vulnerable to raccoons as they are able to reach the bat’s roosting site. Snakes, rats, and birds also prey on little brown bats.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

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