Myotis velifer (Cave Bat)

Weight: 12-15 grams

Wingspan: 28-32 centimeters

[Call File Not Yet Available]

[Spectrograph Not Yet Available]


Southern Kansas and western Oklahoma, the southwestern United States, Mexico, and into Central America.


Ecology and Behavior:

Occurs in colonies of 2,000-5,000 individuals throughout much of its range. Habitats vary from desert floodplains and rocky canyonlands to the cave country from central Texas to southcentral Kansas. In summer, this species congregates in caves, mines, and less often in buildings. Most individuals in populations in Arizona and California appear to be migratory and most in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas appear to be permanent residents that hibernate in caves during winter. Flight is stronger, more direct, and with less flutter than most other bats of the genus. These bats begin emerging from the daytime roost well before dark, fill their stomachs within about 0.5 hour of foraging, and retire to some shelter such as a building, cave, or mine for a night resting period. There is no clearly defined second foraging period in early morning as in some other species. Predators include snakes, hawks, owls, and raccoons.

Food Habits:

Like many insectivorous bats, this species is opportunistic in feeding habits, with diets that fluctuate by season and habitat. Common food items are small moths and beetles.

Reproduction and Longevity:

After a gestation of 60-70 days, one baby is born in late June or early July. During parturition (20 minutes), the baby is caught in the mother's folded tail membrane, and then it crawls to a nipple and begins to nurse. Lifespan may be 10-12 years.

Status of Populations:

Common throughout most of its range.

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.