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Spotted Bat

Bats are mammals, and members of the order Chiroptera. They are the second largest order of mammals in number of species.Commonly found in caves.

Spotted Bat

Spotted Bat

The spotted bat is distinctly colored with a blackish upper fur with patches of white over each shoulder and at the base of the tail. The ears are pinkish, long (over 40mm), and translucent in living individuals. This is the only Idaho species that has an audible echolocating call within the range of human hearing.

A moderately large bat with extremely large ears and a conspicuous dorsal color pattern of three large white spots, one on each shoulder and one on the rump, on a black background; a small white patch at the base of each ear; hairs on the underparts with white tips and blackish bases. Ears and membrane in living individuals pinkish; pale brownish in preserved specimens.

Habits: Although unmistakable in appearance, the spotted bat is one of the least understood of American bats, primarily because of its relative scarcity, at least in collections. There have been scattered records of this bat throughout the western United States dating back to 1891, but it has been taken with any regularity only in California, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Colorado. It was first found in Texas by David Easterla, who captured two adult females in early August, 1967 in mist nets set above a pool in a shallow, barren, hot, dry canyon in the Big Bend National Park

Little is known of the behavior of the spotted bat except that it appears to be most active well after dark. Most individuals caught in mist nets set over water, where bats come to drink, have been captured after midnight. Easterla speculated that its swoop over a water hole is made at relatively high speeds because several of the bats he has captured have been injured when they struck the nets. While in flight the bat emits a series of strident “tics” similar to, but higher pitched than, those of the Mexican big-eared bat Idionycteris phyllotis. Several authors have commented on the docile disposition of captive spotted bats, but occasional individuals are ill-tempered. Available data indicate that moths are highly important in their diet. In fact, these bats may feed almost exclusively on moths.

Life Cycle: As is the case with most bats, Euderma females bear one pup each year in the late spring or early summer. Males in reproductive condition have been found in late summer and fall, indicating that Euderma may mate late in the feeding season when they are fat and in peak physiological shape. If bats were “average” small mammals, the young would then be born in early winter when bugs are scarce, but many temperate zone bat species have evolved the physiological specialization of delayed fertilization.The female sequesters the sperm during hibernation so that sperm doesn’t meet egg until spring and the bat pup is born and weaned during peak insect activity. A Spotted Bat newborn is about the size of a green grape but still,at 4-5 grams, it is about ¼ of the mother’s weight.

Spotted Bat

Spotted Bat

Foraging late at night, Spotted Bats are highly specialized feeders,subsisting almost entirely on moths over their entire range. They catch all their prey using echolocation. Compared to many other insectivorous bats,Spotted Bats use low frequencies, about 9-12 kHz. Since most humans over 30 years old don’t hear sounds much above 10 kHz unless they are very loud, Spotted Bat echolocation is still at or above the upper end of human hearing. Since many moth species have evolved “ears” (tympanic membrances) that are specially tuned to the very high frequencies (60-100 kHz) made by most bat species, it is speculated that Euderma are using a stealth tactic by echolocating with low frequencies that moths cannot hear. No fans of roughage, Spotted Bats pull the tough heads and wings from moths before consuming the tender abdomens.

Spotted Bat

Spotted Bat

Spotted Bats have been able to hide from the efforts of science. Most likely they were never numerous they play at night remote high crevices in widely dispersed places. They hunt alone.

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