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Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus)

Hoary BatThe hoary bat, also known as the Hawaiian hoary bat, has an incredibly far-reaching range. They are found as far south as Chile and Argentina, through Central America, throughout much of the United States, and even into Canada. These solitary bats are also found on the island of Hawaii, where they are the only native, non-marine mammal. Due to their wide range, they can thrive in a variety of habitats (from deserts to forests) and utilize vegetation, trees, tree cavities, and rock crevices for roosts

Size and Color

They are a large and beautifully colored species of bat. They have long, thick fur that is grayish-brown in color with prominent and distinctive white tips. This frosted (or hoary) appearance is the way in which they got their name. They also have a patch of yellow fur on their throat area and white patches of fur on the wrists and shoulders. They can reach lengths, including their tails, of 7 to 7 ½ inches long, with a 15 ½ inch wingspan, and can weigh as much as 20 to 35 grams.

Diet and Behavior

Like most bat species, they are insectivores that feed on insects, moths, in particular, make up the largest portion of their diet. Most of the individuals of this species are migratory and head south at the end of the North American summer to find warmer weather, but some small populations have been seen hibernating in the northern regions of their range. The female hoary bats are known to migrate a month prior to the males in order to prepare for birth.

These bats mate in the fall during their migration and the females store the sperm until they migrate north in the spring. They give birth to a litter of usually 2 pups (but 4 have been observed) at some point between May and July. The pups are able to fly by the time they are about 5 ½ weeks old.

 

Other Florida Bat Species