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Species Description

Northern Yellow Bat

Lasiurus intermedius


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae

Description

Yellowish orange to yellowish brown. This bat measures from 11.8 - 12.9 cm (4.6 - 5.1 in) in total length. Females are larger than males. Examine the tail membrane; this bat has fur only on the anterior (forward) half of the dorsal surface.

Life Cycle

Like many species of the Family Vespertilionidae, this species breeds in the fall but fertilization and embryo development do not occur until the following spring. (This phenomenon is called "delayed fertilization.") Two or three young are born in late May or June. Young of the year have been taken in flight as early as June. Females do not carry their young on nocturnal feeding flights, but may transport them from daytime roosts if disturbed. Females may join together to form a "nursery colony" in the spring and summer.

Natural History

The Northern Yellow Bat generally inhabits hardwood and pine forests near permanent water, but has also been found in palm groves. Clumps of Spanish Moss Tillandsia usneoides form a favored daytime roost, but trees are used as well. The Northern Yellow Bat is generally solitary during the warm months, with the exception of nursery colonies of females. During the winter months it will congregate in small colonies in the northern portions of its range. The Northern Yellow Bat can be active all year, except during periods on the coldest nights in the winter when it will remain in its roost in a torpid condition. This species forages at night at heights of 4.6 - 6.1 m (15 - 20 ft) over meadows and above the treetops along lake and forest edges. It feeds on flies, dragonflies, beetles, true bugs, and wasps. The Barn Owl is a known predator of Northern Yellow Bats.

Range

Northern Yellow Bat Region Map The Northern Yellow Bat is distributed along the Coastal Plain of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, from Virginia to Florida to the southern tip of Texas. In Georgia it can be found south of the Fall Line in appropriate habitats.

Conservation Status

This bat is considered to be an uncommon to rare bat along the Atlantic coast. Nothing is known of its abundance in Georgia.

Similar Species

The Hoary Bat, Red Bat, and Seminole Bat all have fur covering the entire tail membrane.