Eastern Red Bat
Order Chiroptera : Family Vespertilionidae : Lasiurus borealis (Muller)
Description. A medium-sized, distinctly reddish bat with earsshort, broad, rounded, and partly furred; membrane between hind legsdensely furred above. Not easily confused with any other bat except L. seminolus and L. blossevillii.Upperparts reddish, the tips of the hairs white, producing a frostedappearance; males usually lack the white-tipped hairs and are muchredder. Dental formula as in L. blossevillii. External measurements average: total length, 108 mm; tail, 48 mm; foot, 9 mm; ear, 12 mm; forearm, 40 mm. Weight, 10-15 g.
Distribution in Texas. Statewide, but rare in Trans-Pecos.
Habits. Eastern red bats are forest dwelling, solitary batsand are one of the few North American species that roost in the open intrees. They do not use sites such as caves, mine tunnels, or similarsites often frequented by other species. Roosting sites are common intree foliage or Spanish moss where the bats are concealed as theyresemble dead leaves.
This bat is migratory and moves northward in spring and southward infall. It is considered a year-round resident of eastern Texas but mayonly be a summer migrant in the western part of the state. These batswinter in southern United States, Mexico, Bermuda, the Antilles, andperhaps even farther south.
They appear on the wing early in the evening and forage close to theground under the canopy of an orchard or a shaded grove. They typicallyfollow a specific territory while feeding and generally forage near theforest canopy at or above treetop level. They often hunt aroundstreetlamps in towns and occasionally alight to capture insects.Twilight-flying insects such as moths, scarab beetles, planthoppers,flying ants, leafhoppers, ground beetles, and assassin beetles are amongtheir favorite prey items.
The breeding range in western United States appears to coincide withthe bats known distribution. Young bats are born in localities as farsouth as southern Texas and as far north as southern Canada. The young,two to four in number — usually three — are born in May, June, or July.This is one of the few bats that has more than two teats (four). Theyoung ones remain with their mother for some time after they havelearned to fly and the family group roosts together.
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