Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: Arizona Game and Fish Department

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Arizona Bat Information
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Lesser Long-nosed BatArizona has amazing bat diversity with 28 bat species, representing four families. Bats can be found statewide, in all of Arizona's habitats. For example, numerous bat species live and forage within desert habitats. In desert areas insects are often more abundant around water. Bats are often drawn to such areas to drink and probably also to capitalize on areas with higher prey densities. California leaf-nosed bats and pallid bats glean large arthropods (sphinx moths, katydids, scorpions, beetles, etc.) off vegetation or from the ground. Given the extent and diversity of desert areas in Arizona it should not be surprising that more than half of the species of bats in Arizona occupy desert and/or chaparral areas for all or a portion of the year.

Many bats live in the forest habitats throughout the state as well. Forests provide foraging habitat, maternity roosts, travel corridors, and places to hibernate for bats. Of the species of bats found in Arizona, all but six are known to at least occasionally occupy forest habitats. Some species are commonly found only in forests, and their life histories are poorly understood outside the forest context (e.g., Arizona myotis, long-legged myotis, and long-eared myotis), while other species, such as pallid bats, use various habitats at different times of the year. Most forest bat species are insectivores; therefore, foraging habitat means habitat where they may hunt insects. Bats use several strategies when pursuing insect prey; these strategies include hawking or capturing insects when they are flying, gleaning insects from vegetation, and capturing insects off the ground.

Not all bats eat insects; Arizona has two nectar-eating bats. Lesser long-nosed and Mexican long-tongued bats rely on saguaro cactus, organ pipe cactus, agaves, and even hummingbird feeders for their diet of nectar, pollen, and fruit. Bats of Arizona are too diverse to cover in a few paragraphs.

Arizona Bat Species
Common Name Scientific Name
Pallid Bat Antrozous pallidus
Mexican Long-tongued Bat Choeronycteris mexicana
Pale Townsend's Big-eared Bat Corynorhinus townsendii pallescens
Big Brown Bat Eptesicus fuscus
Spotted Bat Euderma maculatum
Greater Western Mastiff Bat Eumops perotis californicus
Underwood's Mastiff Bat Eumops underwoodi
Allen's Big-eared Bat Idionycteris phyllotis
Silver-haired Bat Lasionycteris noctivagans
Western Red Bat Lasiurus blossevillii
Hoary Bat Lasiurus cinereus
Western Yellow Bat Lasiurus xanthinus
Lesser Long-nosed Bat Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae
California Leaf-nosed Bat Macrotus californicus
Ghost-faced Bat Mormoops megalophylla
Southwestern Myotis Myotis auriculus
California Myotis Myotis californicus
Western Small-footed Myotis Myotis ciliolabrum
Long-eared Myotis Myotis evotis
Arizona Myotis Myotis occultus

Fringed Myotis

Myotis thysanodes

Cave Myotis Myotis velifer
Long-legged Myotis Myotis volans
Yuma Myotis Myotis yumanensis
Pocketed Free-tailed Bat Nyctinomops femorosaccus
Big Free-tailed Bat Nyctinomops macrotis
Western Pipistrelle Pipistrellus Hesperus
Mexican Free-tailed Bat Tadarida brasiliensis
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Related AZGFD Info
- Arizona's Natural Heritage Program (HDMS): Mammals
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External Resources [More]
- Western Bat Working Group
- Bat Conservation International
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