These bats have black fur with white spots and a white belly, large (four centimetres long) pink ears and a wingspan of about 30 centimetres.
Range & Habitat
Spotted bats occur from small areas in the Okanagan, Thompson River, Similkameen and Caribou areas in southern B.C., into the US down to Arizona and New Mexico. They live in ponderosa pine and douglas fir forests in the summer and sleep in canyons and cliffs, and come into the dry desert areas in late summer and early winter. In B.C., they are found in the Southern Interior Ecoprovince.
Diet & Behaviour
These bats eat night-flying moths and sometimes beetles. They catch their prey using echolocation (high pitched squeaks that bounce off a moth to tell the bat where its prey is located). Unlike other species of bats, humans can hear spotted bat squeaks.
Lifecycle & Threats
Spotted bats mate in the spring, and one young is born in early summer. Their babies have large ears at birth, and the mother can fly with her young hanging onto her belly. Threats to spotted bats include disturbance from recreation uses (like rock climbing and hiking), and predation on the young when they first leave their parents.
CDC: Blue. Biologists do not know the number of spotted bats living in B.C., but they think it isn’t very many.
Photo: Paul Cryan