Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii)
The Rafinesque’s big-eared bat also referred to as the southeastern big-eared bat, is a species that is native to the southeastern United States. They are found as far south as Florida, north to Kentucky, in parts of Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana, and as far west as eastern Texas. These bats will roost in a wide variety of locations including caves, tree hollows in dead or live trees, caves, mines, and under bridges. They commonly are switching sites, so it all depends on the availability within a given area.
Size and Color
These bats are not extravagantly colored. They are a brownish-gray color that can have a reddish color hue and the fur on their underside tends to be lighter than that on their dorsal side. The individual strands of fur are bi-colored as they are dark at the base and lighter at the tip. Their average size tends to be about 4 ¼ inches long with a wingspan of between 9 ¾ and almost 12 inches long. They are sexually dimorphic, meaning that the females are slightly heavier than the males and they can range in weight from 7 to 13 grams.
Diet and Behavior
They are insectivores like most bat species and will eat a variety of insects including beetles and flies, but they do tend to prefer moths. They will catch their prey during flight or from cave walls and tree foliage as well. Both sexes will roost together during the early spring and hibernation time (from August to February) in colonies of up to 100 individuals or solitarily.
Like many of the bat species in North America, they mate just prior to hibernation and the females will delay fertilization until the spring. The females will form maternity colonies and birth to a single pup in May or June. In 5 to 6 weeks’ time, that pup will be weaned and independent.