Photo courtesy of Porter Libby, U.S. Forest Service
The Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus) is a medium-sized bat that weighs about 0.3 to 0.5 ounce (8 to 15 grams) and has a wingspan of 11 to 13 inches (28 to 33 centimeters). Seminole bats are sometimes confused with other bat species. Close inspection reveals that the deep mahogany color of their fur is distinctive from the reddish-orange color of eastern red bats. Like hoary bats, the fur of Seminole bats is frosted at the tips, but hoary bats are considerably larger. The Seminole bat is furred to the tip of its tail and its fur extends along its underarms to its wrists, ending with distinctive white patches on the wrists and shoulders that distinguish Seminole bats from Florida yellow bats.
The Seminole bat is solitary and commonly roosts in pine trees and Spanish moss. The species typically ranges throughout the Gulf Coast states from south Florida to Texas and north to southeastern Oklahoma, southern Arkansas, and the Carolinas. Seminole bats emerge early in the evening year-round when temperatures are above 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) and feed primarily on leafhoppers, flies, beetles, bees, and ants. In May or June, female bats typically give birth to a single pup, or occasionally more. Juvenile bats either cling to their mother or remain alone in the roost as she feeds at night.
Did You Know?
The endangered Florida Panther is closely monitored in Everglades National Park by aircraft and radio collars. Information about territory, movement, and food preference is critical in managing the future of this remarkable animal.