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Species Description

Seminole Bat

Lasiurus seminolus


Species Image

Classification

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

Description

The fur of the Seminole Bat is a rich mahogany brown with hairs tipped with white. The female is somewhat paler in color than the male. Total length in this species ranges from 8.8 - 12.1 cm (3.5 - 4.8 in). The female is slightly larger than the male. The tail membrane is fully furred. Ears are short and somewhat rounded.

Life Cycle

Breeding takes place in the fall, and 1 - 4 young are born in late May or June of the following year. The young are able to fly within 3 - 4 weeks after birth.

Natural History

The 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 - 6.1 m (5 - 20 ft) above the ground. Moss clumps with a southwestern 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.

Range

Seminole Bat Region Map The Seminole Bat ranges from eastern Texas east through Florida and north to Virginia, along the Coastal Plain and Piedmont. Migratory behavior has not been documented, but it has been suggested that this species may move from winter to summer ranges. In Georgia it can be found throughout most of the state, but may be rare or absent in the mountains.

Conservation Status

A relatively common species in preferred habitats, the Seminole Bat is considered by some authorities to be the most abundant bat in the southeastern United States.

Similar Species

The Red Bat is indistinguishable in body size and shape, but its fur is usually brick red to rusty red rather than the usual rich brown of a Seminole Bat.