RED BAT

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CLASSIFICATION:

FAMILY: Vespertilionidae

GENUS: Lasiurus

SPECIES: borealis

PRONUNCIATION: lay-zee-your-us bor-ee-al-is

DESCRIPTION:

Fur is red-orange. Hair is white tipped, with narrow band of red below, and larger band of yellow below that. Have a completely furred uropatagium. Patagium is black and furred from body and elbow and along forearm. Wingspan of 11-13 inches. Long, narrow wings; short rounded ears, white markings on shoulders and wrists.

DIET:

They are most often found along forest edges or around streed lamps, where they hunt for insects, especially moths. Sometimes, they congregate in large numbers around corncribs to feed on emerging grain moths. Predators on red bats include several birds, especially blue jays.

NORTH AMERICAN RANGE & HABITAT:

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Among the most abundant bats in much of Canada and the U.S. Wisconsin, Red Bats undertake long, seasonal migrations. At such times, groups of up to 100 have been sighted.

Red Bats roost in the foliage of deciduous trees, and are seldom found far from forests. During the day, they hang by one foot, wrapped in their big furry tails, looking like a dead leaf. They live solitary lives and come together only to mate and migrate.

MISCELLANEOUS:

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Red bats can withstand body temperatures as low as 23 F during winter hibernation. Hibernation sites are usually tree hollows or under leaf litter. Unlike most other hibernating bats, red bats often arouse and feed, even in January if temperatures rise above 55 F. At such times, they can be seen feeding in bright sunlight as early as 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Observations suggest that the sexes migrate separately in the spring and occupy different summer and winter ranges in some areas. Mothers frequently give birth to twins and triplets. Red bats almost never enter human habitations.