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Seminole Bat A medium-sized bat, typically attaining nearly 4Â˝ inches (114 mm) in length with a wingspan of about 12 inches (305 mm). This species is similar to the red bat in appearance, but the color of the fur typically is a rich, mahogany brown, tipped with white. Like other members of this genus, the tail membrane is completely covered in fur
Seminole Bat inhabits both hardwood and pine forests. Basically a solitary species, it prefers to roost singly or in pairs in the interior of clumps of Spanish Moss from 1.5 â€“ 6.1 m above the ground. Moss clumps with a eastern United States exposure are favored, for they permit the best preflight warming from the sun. This bat also roosts beneath loose bark or in clumps of leaves.
It forages mostly at tree-top level near open water, over clearings in forests, along forest edges, and even around streetlights. The Seminole Bat is active at all seasons, including warm evenings in midwinter. It feeds in flight, eating flies, beetles, dragonflies, bees, and wasps. During periods of very cold weather, it becomes torpid and waits in its roost for warmer weather.
Seminole Bats feed at dusk, while in flight, on flies, beetles, dragonflies, bees, wasps, and crickets. They are quick and direct when flying, feeding mostly near the tops of trees at about 6 to 15 m. However, it is not uncommon to see them over open ponds, along forest edges, or near lights, presumably where insects accumulate. Like most microchiropterans, seminole bats find their insect prey through echolocation
Life Cycle :Mating occurs in flight during the fall. It is thought that the sperm is stored during the winter, and then 1 to 4 young are born in late May to early June. Gestation period is from 80 to 90 days. An average of 3.3 young are born per breeding season, which is unusual as most bats have only one young per litter. These young can fly as soon as 3 to 4 weeks after birth and young probably reach sexual maturity in the year following their birth
Young are cared for by their mother until they are weaned and can fly, at which point they become independent, although there may be some association of mother and offspring for a short period after the young begin to fly. more females than males have been recorded in the older age class, which indicates a higher male mortality rate. If seminole bats survive the perils of youth, it is likely that they will live for many years.
They are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can sometimes be used to distinguish one bat speciesâ€™ calls from anotherâ€™s. Seminole bats begin foraging for flies, beetles, and other flying prey in early evening, sometimes feeding on insects that have been attracted to street lights. They occasionally swoop down to the ground to snap up a cricket. Like northern yellow bats, Seminole bats often roost in Spanish moss.
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