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8 Cute Bat Species Living in the Midwest

8 Cute Bat Species Living in the Midwest

Bats tend to have a negative connotation, but did you know that bats are actually super important members of our ecosystem? If you can get past the bat myths and learn more, you’ll realize that many species of bats are quite adorable!

If you’re in the midwest and you’re interested in learning more about these unique creatures around you, keep reading our page. We’ve made a list of the top 8 cute bat species that you can find in the midwest. 

1. The Little Brown Bat

 

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The little brown bat, scientifically named Myotis lucifugus, is one of the most common bat species in North America.  This tiny mammal is roughly two inches in size, with a wingspan of six inches. 

While these bats may be small in size, they’re a huge help when it comes to pest control. Many farmers will build bat houses to try and utilize them for pest control on their farms. One little brown bat can eat about 1,200 insects an hour!

This species of bat hibernates every winter, gathering by the thousands in caves. The little brown bat was the first species of bat to have been discovered with the fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome.

2. The Indiana Bat

 

 

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The Indiana bat, scientifically: Myotis Sodalis, is a common species of bat found in the Eastern half of the United States. In their Latin name, “Myotis” refers to their mouse-like ears, and “Sodalis” means companion. 

These bats are particularly small, weighing about a quarter of an ounce. Despite their small size, they’re another great species for pest control. They can eat up to half of their body weight in insects every night. 

These social bats were discovered in Southern Indiana, and most of the species continue to return there for hibernation every winter. The Indiana bat species have an impressive colony size during hibernation. Their colonies can support anywhere from 20,000 to 50,000 of these tiny bats!

3. The Hoary Bat

 

 

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The Hoary bat, classified as Lasiurus cinereus, is a classy bat. This species of bat has thick, white-tipped fur and a wingspan that reaches 16 inches in length! Even though this bat is a prominent species throughout North and South America, they stay very well hidden and are rarely spotted. 

Hoary bats are solitary creatures, so they don’t live in colonies with other bats. Instead, these bats take shelter up in hollowed trees and sometimes high cliff crevices.

During winter, hoary bats begin to migrate south to stay warm and find more sources of food. Since they migrate in groups, you may be fortunate enough to spot them if you’re awake at the right time. 

4. The Northern Long-Eared Bat

A small The Northern Long-Eared Bat in a cave. This type of bat is one of many cute bat species in the Midwest

The Northern long-eared bat, scientifically named Myotis septentrionalis, is another small bat species and is known for its long ears. These bats are found throughout the Northern, Eastern, and Central regions of the United States, as well as a few other countries. 

Northern long-eared bats are about 3 inches in size and have a wingspan of about 9 inches.

Aside from their unusually long ears, these bats are also identified by their dark brown fur and paler bellies. These bats hibernate either alone or in colonies in caves during the winter.

This species of bat is, unfortunately, being wiped out by white-nose syndrome. It is now classified as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Since the discovery of the disease among their species in 2006, their population in the Northeast has diminished by over 99%. 

5. The Evening Bat

 

 

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The Evening Bat, scientifically named Nycticeius humeralis, is found in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States. These bats can be mistaken for juvenile big brown bats because they share physical characteristics. But their identifying feature is the curvature of their ears. 

The Evening Bat species take shelter in trees and forests but are not found in caves. These bats will store up fat in their bodies for their migration south during the cold months. 

One of the unique traits of these bats is their reproductive habits. Unlike most bats, the Evening Bats are able to have three pups a year, as opposed to 1.

This could be a contributing factor to their steady population despite their short lifespans of about four years. 

6. The Eastern Red Bat

An Eastern Red bat hanging on a tree. An Eastern Red Bat is one of many cute bat species.

The Eastern Red Bat, also known as Lasiurus Borealis, is one of North America’s most common tree bats. These bats are identified by their reddish-auburn fur and white shoulder patches. Despite their bright color, these bats camouflage well in trees with dead leaves and pinecones.

Eastern Red Bats are solitary and only form groups during migration, although they are able to survive in below-freezing temperatures. These bats, similar to the Evening Bat, are also capable of birthing litters of 3 to 5 pups! 

7. The Tri-Colored Bat

A tricolored bat hanging in a dark cave.

The Tri-Colored Bat, scientifically named Perimyotis subfalvus, is one of the smallest types of bats in North America.

These tiny creatures weigh about the same as a quarter. They are identified by the distinctive bands of color that cover their backs and their cute bat face. 

Tri-Colored Bats are the first bats to hibernate every winter and the last bats to wake up in the spring. These bats will hibernate in caves or abandoned mines, and they tend to use the same hibernation site each year.

Tri-Colored Bats are another one of the species of bats that are threatened by white-nose syndrome

8. The Silver-Haired Bat

 

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The Silver-Haired Bat, scientifically named Lasionycteris noctivagans, is one of the most common forest bat species in North America. These bats have mostly black fur, with white tips that make them appear frosted. 

Despite being forest-dwelling bats, this species hibernates during the winter. They may migrate to a warmer area before settling down for the winter. When females birth pups, it isn’t uncommon for them to have twins.

These bats are also a significant help to humans, as they’re a natural and effective pest control for many farmers. Since they take shelter in the trees, some people build bat houses to try and keep the bats close by. 

Found a Cute Bat Species? Call Us

A cute bat species flying through the air.

You’ve learned about some of the cute bat species in your area. Now you may be able to identify some of these critters if you see them. 

If you do see any bats, be sure to leave them alone and don’t harm them! Bats are our friends, and we should treat them as such.

If you’ve got bats in your home or business and don’t want them there, reach out to Central Plains Bat Removal. We understand that bats can make people uncomfortable, so we’re happy to humanely remove them and relocate them to a safer environment.

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