eastern red bat

(Lasiurus borealis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

eastern red bat

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread but not common in Minnesota

Habitat

Woodland openings and edges, hedgerows, tree-lined roads, streams.

Lifespan

About 12 years

Size

Total length: 3¾ to 4

Wingspan: 11½ to 13

Tail: 1 to 2


Identification

This is a medium-sized, solitary, migratory, tree bat. Adults are densely furred, 3¾ to 4 long, and weigh ¼ to ½ ounce.

The fur (pelage) of the male is brick red. The stiff, long hairs (guard hairs) are white-tipped, giving the fur a frosted appearance. There is a buffy white patch on the front of each shoulder. On females the pelage is often described as yellowish-red but might be more accurately described as dull, buffy, chestnut brown. Unlike most bats, the female has four mammary glands.

The forearm is 17 16 to 1 long.

The wing-like flight membrane (patagium) is composed of skin and associated tissues between the neck and the first digit of the forelimb (propatagium), the digits of the forelimb (dactylopatagium), the last digit and the hind limb (plagiopatagium), and the tail and the hindlimb (uropatagium or interfemoral membrane). The upper side of the interfemoral membrane is densely and completely covered with fur. The underside is thinly furry and just near the base. The patagium is otherwise naked except for thin fur along the humerus and at the wrist.

The tail is relatively long, 1¾ to 27 16, but does not extend beyond the interfemoral membrane. It is hairy on the upper surface. The genus name Lasiurus means “hairy tail”. When in flight the tail and interfemoral membrane are held outstretched, giving a distinctive V-shaped silhouette.

The foot is small, about half the length of the uppermost tarsal bone.

The skull is short and blunt. The ear is short, broad, and rounded. It is not rimmed with black. The projection covering the ear canal (tragus) is triangular and relatively short, about long. It is naked on the inner surface and densely furry on the basal two-thirds of the outer surface. The mouth has 32 teeth. There is a single upper incisor on each side. The first molar-like tooth is tiny and peg-like. It is on the inside (tongue side) of the canine tooth.

 
Similar
Species

Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) is larger, up to to 5¾ long. The pelage is brown. The hairs above are strongly white-tipped, giving the bat a hoary appearance.

Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) pelage is black or dark brown with silvery tips. The upper surface of the interfemoral membrane is lightly furred. The ears are hairless.


Food

Mostly moths, but also beetles, flies, and other insects.

 
Life Cycle

Males and females have different summer ranges. Though solitary, they come together to migrate in mixed sex flocks of up to several hundred individuals. Mating takes place in August and September during southward migration. The female stores the sperm over the winter, and fertilization occurs the following spring around March and April. After about 90 days she gives birth to usually two or three but up to five young. The young are suckled for about 38 days and take their first flight after about 5 weeks. Those that reach adulthood live about 12 years.

 
Behavior

During the day they hang by their feet in in a tree or shrub usually 2 to 10 off the ground. They choose a sight with dense foliage above and to the sides but clear below, leaving a clear flight path. They have a single feeding session each day lasting a few hours. They usually begin hunting at dusk, but sometimes later in the night. They locate their prey both by echolocation and by sight. They migrate south in the winter but their wintering range is unknown.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 15, 29.


Comments

Taxonomy
Prior to 1988 there were five subspecies of red bat (subgenus Lasiurus) recognized. Under this classification, only the northern red bat (Lasiurus borealis borealis) was found in eastern and central North America. Two of the former subspecies have been raised to species status, three were transferred to subspecies of western red bat (Lasiurus blossevillii). There are no subspecies of eastern red bat currently recognized.

Rabies
Bats are important vectors of the rabies virus but rabid bats pose little threat to humans. They are passive, will not attack, and will not bite unless handled.


Taxonomy

Order:

Chiroptera (bats)

 

Suborder:

Microchiroptera

 

Superfamily:

Vespertilionoidea

 

Family:

Vespertilionidae (common bats)

 

Subfamily:

Vespertilioninae

 

Tribe:

Lasiurini

 

Genus:

Lasiurus (hairy-tailed bats)

 

Subgenus:

Lasiurus (red bats)

 
Synonyms

Vespertilio borealis

 
Common
Names

eastern red bat

red bat


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

guard hair

A long, straight, coarse hair that projects beyond and lays over ground hairs; the two hair types, sometimes also with awn hairs, comprise the pelage in fur-bearing animals.

 

interfemoral membrane

In some mammals, the part of the patagium that extends between the legs and the tail.

 

patagium

In some mammals, the membrane between the forelimb and the abdomen that assists in flying or gliding. In Lepidoptera, one of a pair of hair-covered, sausage-shaped, dorsal plates on the anterior of the pronotum.

 

pelage

The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.

 

tragus

The fleshy projection on the inner side of the outer ear partially covering the ear canal.

       

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Female roosting in a dense thicket of desert false indigo

  eastern red bat    
       
       

 

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  Lasiurus borealis (Red Bat)
Allen Chartier
 
  Lasiurus borealis (Red Bat)  

 

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  Red Bat (Lasiurus borealis) youngster gets a drink and a scratch on the back!
SCUBAdad2006
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 16, 2009

Me giving 3-wk old Lucy the female red bat pup a drink, and then petting her too.

 
     
  Eastern Red Bats - Mating
Gene Rollins
 
   
 
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Published on Sep 5, 2012

September 5th, 2012 - Lasiurus borealis

 
     
  Morning Eastern red bat
Sthemingway
 
   
 
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Published on Jul 11, 2014

Methinks I saw an Eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) this morning.

 
     
  Peck Ranch Red Bats
CelestialWolven
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Oct 25, 2009

Red bats (Lasiurus borealis) caught using mist nets.

Location: Peck Ranch Wildlife Refuge, Winona, Missouri

 
     
  JUST LOOKING AROUND #19 Eastern Red Bat
billhawkamania1
 
   
 
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Published on Apr 26, 2013

I was wrong,it is a Eastern Red Bat a big thanks to a good friend Tony Gerard for the ID.

 
     

 

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