Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat
Rafinesque’s big-eared bats are easily identifiable throughout the southeastern U.S. by their extremely large ears and short snout with prominent lumps that flank the nostrils. The species' dorsal fur ranges from gray to reddish-brown, and its bicolored ventral fur has a dark base with pale or white tips that distinguish it from the closely-related Townsend's big-eared bat. This species is uncommon throughout most of its range, which spans across the southeastern U.S. and north into Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. It is primarily found in mature forests, especially cypress/tupelo-gum stands. Rafinesque’s big-eared bats roost in trees, caves, bridges, and occasionally buildings. Winter habits of the species vary: individuals in cooler parts of the range often hibernate, while those in warmer climates are active throughout the year. Rafinesque’s big-eared bats feed mostly on moths but will also eat other insects including crane flies and horseflies. Females produce a single pup per reproductive cycle. The oldest recorded Rafinesque’s big-eared bat is 10 years old. Rafinesque's big-eared bats are one of a handful of low-intensity echolocation species colloquially referred to as "whispering bats."
Information used to populate this page was obtained from the following sources:
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Conservation Online System
Bat Conservation International Bat Profiles
National Atlas of the United States. (2011). North American Bat Ranges, 1830-2008. National Atlas of the United States. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/pz329xp4277.
Taylor, M. 2019. Bats: an illustrated guide to all species. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.