Macrotus californicus (California Leaf-nosed Bat)

Weight: 8-17 grams

Wingspan: 33-35 centimeters

[Call File Not Yet Available]

[Spectrograph Not Yet Available]


Southwestern United States, western and southern Mexico, and northern Central America.

Ecology and Behavior:

This rather large bat is a resident of lowland desert habitat. Abandoned mine tunnels are its favored daytime retreat because they provide protection from the heat and drying effects of the desert climate. When at rest, it hangs pendant by gripping the ceiling of its roost with one or both feet. Much of the time at rest is spent hanging from a single foot with the other leg relaxed and dangling to the side. The free foot often is used for scratching and grooming as the bat swings gently, like a pendulum. Like most other bats, this species uses resting places during its nocturnal forays. These night roosts may be open buildings, cellars, porches, bridges, rock shelters, and mines. Emergence from the day roost begins about an hour after sunset, considerably later than for most other species of bats, and is spread over about 3 hours, with small groups of bats often leaving together.

Food Habits:

Grasshoppers, cicadas, moths, caterpillars, and beetles are consumed. Remains of sphinx moths, butterflies, and dragonflies have been found beneath night roosts.

Reproduction and Longevity:

Although twins are known, usually one baby is born sometime between mid-May and mid-July.

Status of Populations:

Locally common.

Text, in its original form, provided by T. L. Best, M. J. Harvey, and J. S. Altenbach. Printed spectrographs provided by M. J. O'Farrell. Distribution maps, call descriptions, and AnaMusic sound clips produced by W. L. Gannon. Accounts assembled by T. C. Sanchez-Brown.