Myotis lucifugus

“my-oh-tis loo-ciff-a-guss”

RANGE: Alaska, Canada, across the U. S. from the Pacific to Atlantic coasts, and the higher elevation forested regions of Mexico. HABITAT: Typically forested lands near water, though some subspecies can be found in dry climates. SIZE: Weight: 5 to 14 g; Wingspan: 8.74 to 10.59 in. Females are larger than males, especially during the winter. LIFESPAN: M. lucifugus usually live 6-7 years but often live well beyond 10 years. Evidence indicates males tend to live longer than females. The oldest little brown bat observed in Alberta was banded as an adult in Cadomin Cave in October 1975, and was re-sighted as recently as February 2009, making it at least 35 years of age at that time. DIET: M. lucifugus forage over water where their diet consists of aquatic insects, mainly midges, mosquitoes, mayflies, and caddisflies. They also feed over forest trails, cliff faces, meadows, and farmland where they consume a wide variety of insects, from moths and beetles to crane flies. REPRODUCTION: Little brown bats delay ovulation and store sperm for about seven months between copulations in the fall and fertilization in the spring. Males inseminate females that are active as well as those that are torpid. Pups are born and reared in June and July after a 50 to 60 day gestation period; only one young is born per year. The pups’ eyes and ears open within hours of birth, and deciduous teeth are fully erupted. Young start hearing at day 2 and develop auditory sensitivity similar to that of an adult by day 13. Pups are able to thermo regulate approximately on day 9, and in three weeks they are able to fly. Mothers nurse their own young and distinguish from other pups by odor and calls. For 18 to 21 days, pups ingest only milk from their mother. Weaning takes place at about three weeks; at this time, the permanent teeth fully erupt and pups start to feed on insects along with the mother's milk. Independence from the mother comes when the pups start to fly and become self-supporting at about 4 weeks of age. Adult weight is attained at about 4 weeks of age as well. BEHAVIOR: These bats inhabit attics, roofs, trees, woodpiles and other areas in close proximity to humans. Primary activity occurs about two or three hours after dusk and secondary activity may occur before dawn; most individuals return to the roost by four or five o’clock in the morning. These bats usually enter daily torpor. Their body temperatures vary greatly, and can range between 43.7o F to 129o F without harm. CONSERVATION STATUS: Stable.
Organization for Bat Conservation