List of types of Bats in Texas and what you need to know about them.
For much of recorded history bats in Texas have fascinated people of all ages. They have been regarded as mysterious creatures of the night. People have often wondered about these hairy creatures of the night (most bats are nocturnal) and how they manage to move about even in pitch black conditions. Not only have bats fascinated people and featured in old folktales, bats still continue to fascinate researchers as well as thrill us in our contemporary stories and entertainment (batman for example). From the perspective of a biologist, bats play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem. They help keep insect populations under control.
But not everybody is a fan of bats: These winged critters can scare the living daylights out of someone who was not expecting to see a bat flying around inside their house. Some people are so afraid of bats that their presence can through them into complete and utter fits of panic. Maybe this fear stems from the fact that bats have a pretty well-earned reputation for carrying rabies.
Whether you have come to this site because you are fascinated by these mysterious creatures, or whether you have come to read this article because you have found bats on your property, it is still a good idea to gain some insights about bats, so as to put away unfounded fear. After reading this article you will come to appreciate these furry creatures of the night, and at least salute them for their service to the planet. Here we go the types of bats in Texas.
Types Of Bats In Texas
1. Big Brown Bat
The big brown bat is a well-documented species of bat. While it is big when standing side by side with the smaller types of bat, this creature is just a rather small animal. They are only four to five inches in length when you measure them from nose to tail and have a wingspan that is only between 13 and 15 inches. Their thick fur varies in color and can be chestnut brown or deep russet- or anything in between. Their (hairless) snouts, ears, and wing membranes are black. These bats are strict insect-eaters and work extra hard to keep insects from overrunning the planet. However, they have been known to bite hard enough to draw blood- but only in self-defense.
Big Brown Bats are abundant in the state of Texas but can be found all over the United States, Mexico, Latin America, and even in the southernmost parts of Canada. This species of bats is usually a solitary creature, but Pregnant/nursing females usually live in colonies with their young. It is common for pregnant and nursing females to use the same colonies that they were born in.
2. Cave Myotis
Cave myotis bats are just your regular next-door bats. Okay, they are not. As a matter of fact, they are very secretive bats who do not want to be disturbed. They have a few distinguishing characteristics. To start with, their ears are little and pointed, somewhat resembling the ears of a house cat. They have small, somewhat hostile-looking eyes, and their fur varies in color from brown to black, but they almost always have a lighter patch underneath. They also have bare, hairless “spot” between their shoulder blades. But their most prominent feature which sets them apart from other bats is their fluttery, somewhat erratic-looking flight patterns. This type of bats seems to fly in a zig-zag pattern. Despite that crazy flight pattern, they are powerful flyers and have a reputation for long-distance flights. Cave Myotis typically avoid human interaction; once their roosting area is disturbed, they’re far more likely to abandon the spot, leaving it for the humans, and looking for different places to roost.
3. Tri-Colored Bat
No doubt we don’t have to tell you how his bats get their name! These bats get their nickname from their unique coloration: from afar, their coats appear to be a golden brown or deep shade of orange. However, individual hairs on their bodies are actually dark at the base, yellow-brown in the middle, and then dark again close to or at the very tips. Although their faces, ears, and wing membranes are dark gray or black, their forearms again turn reddish-orange. That is a mixture of two or three colors repeating themselves in different parts of the animal’s body. The animals can easily be identified by their brightly-colored forearm even during hibernation…which is convenient because Tri-Colored Bats are known to do quite a lot of hibernating. When compared to other bat species, Tri-colored bats begin hibernation early and finish it late; that is about six to nine months of “energy-saving mode!”
4. Evening bat
Next on our list of types of bats in Texas comes the evening bat. Evening bats are a type of bats that most closely resemble Big Brown Bats, and as a result of this close resemblance are quite frequently mistaken for Big Brown Bats. They both have glossy brown coats with black on their faces, ears, and wings. They also both have colonies only for pregnant nursing females- with the rest of their population choosing to hang in caves or trees. Well, Evening Bats are a different species and so there must be a couple of distinct differences. The most obvious difference is their size; evening bats are noticeably smaller than Big Brown Bats. Also, if you are able to get close enough to these critters to get a proper look at their ears you will find out that their tragi are short, rounded, and slightly curved instead of pointed. We do not recommend that you get too close, however, because they can get feisty when cornered or frightened, and have been known to bite their way out of difficult circumstances.
5. Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
The next bat species on our list is the Mexican free-tailed Bat. This bat gets its name from its prominent tail. In truth all bats have tails, but they vary in length and structure between species. Mexican Free-Tailed Bats are one species whose tails extend beyond their tail membrane. Researchers say this extra length helps them feel where they’re going, especially when they are flying backward into nooks and crevices.
Mexican Free Tails have large ears when compared to other bats, and the ears appear almost “pinched” together at the base. Another distinctive feature of these bats is that they have deep, vertical grooves in their upper lip. Their coats can differ in color from gray to dark brown. These bats are so well populated, and so commonly sighted in North America that they are the first to come to mind when many folks think of the word bats. Mexican Free-Tailed bats are fast-fliers and experts at echolocation. They are comfortable on the darkest of nights and keep the insect population under control.
6. Southeastern Myotis
Next on our list of the types of bats in Texas is the bat species called Southern Myosis. This is a species of bat that most popular for the quality of its coat. Some researchers have described this species as having a “fabulous” coat. Southern Myosis has dense, woolly fur that gives them the appearance of winged balls of wool. They also have light-colored underbellies that stand in sharp contrast with the rest of their dark brown (or deep orange) bodies. Southern Myosis usually roost in caves and are only found in a small area of northeastern Texas where such dwellings are populated, and relatively untouched. The bats are more abundant in Louisiana and Mississippi. An Interesting fact of this particular bat species is that although most females myotis bats give birth to a single pup at a time, Southern Myosis bats are quite well known for producing pregnancies twins.
Conclusion On The Types Of Bats In Texas:
This article is just basic information about some of the types of bats that you can find in Texas. We have given you nominal information about the more popular species and a little about their habits. Some of these bats can be identifiable on sight, while identifying others may be a matter best left to professionals. To be clear: we are not suggesting that you should try to catch or identify any bats that you may happen to find in your home or on your property! Bats sometimes carry disease, and for the reason of considerable health hazard, we strongly recommend that you call a pest removal service to deal with bats if you find them in your house. Bats are unique and curious creatures, but they are creatures that should be admired from afar. We already have animals that we love to see but would not venture too close: lions, tigers, wolves, and jaguar for example. While we think they are beautiful, we would readily agree that touching or petting them is likely a bad idea.