Cave myotis

Myotis velifer

The cave myotis is a species of vesper bat in the genus ''Myotis''.
Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer), Comal County, Texas, USA. I run the Department of Conservation & Research for the San Antonio Zoo.  We work with subterranean species from around the world.  Among the species we encounter on our bioinventory trips to caves across the United States are bats.  I've been playing around with the Phototrap system and this is one of the images we landed in Comal County, Texas, USA.
This is the Cave Myotis (Myotis velifer).  The species can contract white nose syndrome but we don't yet know how the fungal infection is impacting this species, particularly in the southern portion of its range.  Cave Myotis,Cave myotis,Comal County,Myotis velifer,Phototrap,Texas,bat,subterranean species,white nose syndrome

Appearance

It is larger than most other bats in the ''Myotis'' group, with a forearm of 37 to 44 millimetres . The bat is brown with short ears, and can be distinguished from other large ''Myotis'' by a bare patch of skin on its back. Male bats are smaller than females.

Distribution

It is usually found in caves, although it has been known to inhabit mines and buildings. The largest populations are in southwest Kansas and in Mexico. Groups of over a thousand have been recorded on the ceilings of caves during winter hibernation.

Behavior

The cave myotis is insectivorous, primarily feeding on moths. To capture prey it uses echolocation, typically hunting one or two hours after sunset. Due to their larger size and well-adapted wings, the cave myotis may forage further from their roost than other "myotis" bats. When insect populations are low in spring and autumn, they decrease their food consumption. Adult females consume more food than males due to their size. Females also consume more food during lactation and gestation periods. Juveniles are efficient at foraging; they join their adult counterparts aged as young as four weeks. By six to eight weeks, their daily consumption of insects matches that of an adult. Colonies hibernate from mid October until April. Individuals have lifespan of around thirteen years.

Habitat

It is usually found in caves, although it has been known to inhabit mines and buildings. The largest populations are in southwest Kansas and in Mexico. Groups of over a thousand have been recorded on the ceilings of caves during winter hibernation.

Food

The cave myotis is insectivorous, primarily feeding on moths. To capture prey it uses echolocation, typically hunting one or two hours after sunset. Due to their larger size and well-adapted wings, the cave myotis may forage further from their roost than other "myotis" bats. When insect populations are low in spring and autumn, they decrease their food consumption. Adult females consume more food than males due to their size. Females also consume more food during lactation and gestation periods. Juveniles are efficient at foraging; they join their adult counterparts aged as young as four weeks. By six to eight weeks, their daily consumption of insects matches that of an adult. Colonies hibernate from mid October until April. Individuals have lifespan of around thirteen years.

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Status: Least concern
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderChiroptera
FamilyVespertilionidae
GenusMyotis
SpeciesM. velifer