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Southeastern Myotis (Myotis austroriparius)

The southeastern myotis has a segmented range that includes populations in the Ohio River Valley of Kentucky, areas of southern Illinois and Indiana, parts of southeastern Oklahoma, western Tennessee, northeastern Texas, and the southern area of North Carolina. Most of the population of this species reside in the northern half of the state of Florida. They are mainly a cave-roosting species but is also known to dwell within attics, under bridges, mines, barns, under loose bark, and within tree hollows.

Color and Size

The coloring of the southeastern myotis depends on the time of year, as they molt in the late summer and that changes the color. Their thick, wool-like fur is a darker color at the base and whitish at the tips. Prior to molting, they are a lighter shade of brown and afterward, their color becomes much darker in shade.

They are sexually dimorphic, meaning the females are larger than the males. Females range in length from 4 to 5 inches in length and the males will tend to be slightly shorter than this. Females range in weight from 5 to 8 grams (depending on the season) and the males range from 5 to almost 7 grams. The species as a whole has an average wingspan between 9 ¼ to 10 ¾ inches wide.

Diet and Behavior

Because these insectivores vary in the environments in which they inhabit, their yearly behavior varies as well. The populations located in Florida do not migrate or hibernate due to the temperate climate of the region. The northern populations will migrate and hibernate, usually traveling short distances between varying sites. These migrations are considered minimal migrations as they find different sites within the same regions.

Not much is known about the reproduction of the northern populations, as most of them reside in Florida. The Floridian populations mate from mid-February to mid-April and the females form maternity colonies of up to 90,000 individuals. They give birth to twin pups between late April and mid-May.