THE EASTERN SMALL FOOTED MYOTIS BAT – Myotis leibii
Pronunciation: my-oh-tis lee-bee-eye
This is the smallest myotis in the eastern U.S. with a total length of 2 7/8 – 3 1/4 inches. It has long glossy chestnut brown fur with black accents. It has a tiny foot, short forearm, flat skull and keeled calcar. Little data is available. The single young are born May-July in nursery colonies of 12 to 20 bats sometimes found in buildings. The hardiest species are found in caves/mines of eastern North America, though they generally roost on the ground under rocks, in crevices/occasionally in buildings and under tree bark.
“Females usually give birth once a year, sometime between May and July. Mating is usually in late summer or fall but occasionally happens in winter instead. Scientists don’t know much about their breeding behavior, but they are often found in large groups of mostly females when they give birth. These are called maternity colonies.”
They have a characteristic slow flight. In the Mammoth Cave region of Kentucky, this species is fairly common in late summer in the flocks of migrating bats. The whereabouts of these individuals at other seasons is unknown. Often the last bat to begin hibernation, it often is the first to leave, by February or March. The last bat to hibernate was gone by February or March. It is active in late winter and hibernates in cold, dry areas near cave entrances (drafty, low humidity, may be subfreezing). These bats feed on mosquitoes, small beetles, true bugs and ants. The longevity record is 12 years. They are found in wild, heavily forested, mountain regions, frequently but not exclusively in caves in hemlock forests. They are known from hemlock forest habitats and from rock falls, caves, mines and rock crevices associated with hemlock forest regions. In summer, it at least occasionally inhabits buildings. Caves and mines are the only known winter habitat. It has been found in mountains rising to 2000 feet.
“When they are born, eastern small-footed bats weigh 20 to 35% of their mother’s weight. This is large for a newborn baby, so the mother only has one at a time. This is probably because it would be too hard to get enough food for more than one baby at the same time. Males and females are the same size when they are born.”
List Of Bats In The US And Canada
Thanks to Bat Conservation International for our bat images and much of our bat information.