Northern Yellow Bat (Lasiurus intermedius)
The northern yellow bat, sometimes referred to as the Florida or Eastern yellow bat, has a small range in the southeastern portion of the United States. They reside along the coastal plain of the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast. Their distribution spans from Virginia to Florida, and east to the southern tip of Texas. They are a tree-dwelling species that prefers to roost within the Spanish moss that is native to this region, but they will also inhabit other trees throughout their distribution range.
Size and Color
As their name suggests, they have a silky textured fur that ranges in color from a yellowish-brown to a yellowish-orange color. These bats are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the females of the species tend to be larger than the males. They can be anywhere from 4.5 to 5 inches long and weigh as much as 17 to 22 grams.
Diet and Behavior
The northern yellow bat is an insectivore that forages over pastures, lake edges, forest edges, and open grassy areas. Their preferred prey are beetles, ants, mosquitoes, and dragonflies. They are mainly a solitary species, except when the females gather to form their maternity colonies. The males will remain solitary all year-round. The northern yellow bat is not known to migrate or hibernate. These bats can be active year around due to the weather of the southeastern United States but will go into a torpid state during cold spells in the weather of their home range.
These bats mate in the late fall, but the females delay fertilization until the spring when they know food sources will be plentiful. They give birth to 2 to 3 pups in late May or early June and these pups mature quickly as many of them are able to fly and be independent by the end of June.