Myotis volans
(Long-legged Myotis)

Order: Chiroptera
Order Description: Bats
Family Description:

The upper fur is usually cinnamon to brownish. Dense fur on the underside of the wing membrane occurs from the belly to a line joining the elbow and knee, the only Idaho species with this characteristic. The ears are short, rounded at the margin and barely reach the end of the nose when laid forward. The calcar Click word for definitionis keeled, and the foot relatively small.

The western to southern portion of British Columbia, southern Alberta, east across northern Montana to the western edge of the Dakotas, then almost due south into central Mexico, and west into Baja California and along the Pacific Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington. In Idaho, this species has been collected in twelve counties.

This bat occurs in a variety of habitats from desert to mountainous coniferous forests, where it appears to be most common, especially if open water occurs in the area. Summer roosts include cliff crevices, cracks in the ground, hollows in snags, or hollow areas under exfoliating bark and in living trees, and old buildings. Winter hibernal sites include caves and mines tunnels. No large winter concentrations of this species have been found in mines in Idaho.

Found in montane coniferous forests at 2000-3000 m. Also found in riparian Click word for definitionand desert (Baja California) habitats. May change habitats seasonally.

Long-legged myotis eat a variety of small insects found in forests including moths, leafhoppers, lacewings, termites, flies, and small beetles. The food taken may vary with insect availability.

In many other states, this species appears to be abundant. This species migrates locally, perhaps taking advantage of changing insect populations especially in fall. Long-legged myotis have a flight pattern that appears to be planned and direct. They are known to traverse large areas of forest or water when feeding.

Hibernates Click word for definition/aestivates Click word for definition. Active throughout most of night. Peak activity occurs during first 3-4 hr after sunset. Forages for relatively long distances over, through, and around forest canopies and forest clearings, and also over water. In New Mexico, forages primarily in open areas. Uses caves and mines as hibernacula Click word for definition, but winter habits are poorly known. Roosts in abandoned buildings, rock crevices, and under bark. In summer, apparently does not use caves as daytime roost Click word for definitionsites. Sometimes attains life span of 21 yr.

Mating takes place during the fall, and ovulation and implantation in spring. Several hundred individuals may occur in nursery colonies. A single pup is born in mid-summer. Very little is known about this species in Idaho.

In New Mexico study, mating began in late August, sperm was stored over winter in female reproductive tract, ovulation Click word for definitionoccurred March-May, and parturition Click word for definitiontook place May-August. In Texas, births probably occur in June or early July. Female produces 1 young. Nursery colonies may include up to several hundred individuals.

Status: Unprotected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S3

Important State References:
Keller, B.L. 1987. Analysis of the bat species present in Idaho, with special attention to the spotted bat, Euderma maculatum. Dept. Biol. Sciences, Idaho St. Univ., Pocatello. 25pp

Information written by Barry Keller,© 2000
Map image provided by
Stephen Burton,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.