CALIFORNIA LEAF-NOSED BAT – Macrotus californicus


California leaf nosed bat fun facts: They are small to medium sized, with a head and body length combined of 2.1 to 2.5 inches (5.3 to 6.4 centimeters). They have a visible tail that ranges from 1.4 to 1.6 inches (3.5 to 4.1 centimeters). These bats have a large noseleaf, large ears, and broad wings. Their fur is brown or gray. The underside is lighter, typically a brown or tan color. Geographic range: California leaf-nosed bats are one of only a few species of this family found in the United States. These bats are found in southern California and Arizona, as well as northwestern Mexico. There is also a record of the bat being found in Texas.

Where does the California leaf nosed bat live: California leaf-nosed bats live in arid (extremely dry) habitats. They roost in caves, mines, and abandoned buildings. They often roost in well-lit areas. They select mines and caves that stay warm in the winter months due to the heat from the Earth.

What do California leaf nosed bats eat: These bats eat insects, such as crickets, moths, beetles, and a variety of other arthropods.

Behavior and reproduction: California leaf nosed bats gather in colonies of hundreds to thousands. Smaller groups have also been found. To locate prey, California leaf-nosed bats use both echolocation and the sounds made by the prey. They also can use vision to find prey, and when they do, they stop producing echolocation calls. They capture their prey both while flying and from gleaning, picking the prey off surfaces such as vegetation and the ground. After they catch it, they take the prey to a roost to eat. They only eat certain parts of the prey, dropping legs, wings, and other parts of the insect on the ground.

These bats mate in August, September, and October. Males attract females by flapping their wings and vocal sounds. Females form maternity colonies, and the female has one offspring the following spring.

California leaf-nosed bats and people: The disturbance of these bats’ natural habitats through mining has caused a decrease in these bats’ population.

Conservation status: The California leaf-nosed bat is listed as Vulnerable.