eastern red bat

(Lasiurus borealis)

Conservation Status
eastern red bat
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Eastern red bat 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 3¾ to 4

Wingspan: 11½ to 13

Tail: 1 to 2

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

 

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

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.

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

About 12 years

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Disease Vector

 
 

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.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

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

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 15, 29, 30, 76.

 
  3/9/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Widespread but not common in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placentals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Laurasiatheria  
  Order Chiroptera (bats)  
  Suborder Yangochiroptera  
  Superfamily Vespertilionoidea  
 

Family

Vespertilionidae (evening bats)  
 

Subfamily

Vespertilioninae (vesper bats)  
  Tribe Lasiurini (hairy-tailed bats)  
 

Genus

Lasiurus (hairy-tailed bats)  
  Subgenus Lasiurus (red bats)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

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.

 
       
 

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

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  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
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 5, 2012

September 5th, 2012 - Lasiurus borealis

   
       
  Morning Eastern red bat
Sthemingway
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 11, 2014

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

   
       
  Peck Ranch Red Bats
CelestialWolven
 
   
 
About

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
 
   
 
About

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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