Pallid bat

Antrozous pallidus

SUBFAMILY

Vespertilioninae

TAXONOMY

Antrozous pallidus (La Conte, 1856), El Paso County, Texas, United States. Six subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Chauve-souris blonde; Spanish: Murcielago pálido. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body length ranges from 3.6-5.5 in (9.2-14 cm), wingspan about 14 in (35.5 cm), and forearm length from about 1.8-2.4 in (4.5-6 cm). Adults weigh from 0.46 to 1.02 oz (13-29 g). A large-eared, yellowish bat with big eyes compared to other ves-pertilionids. The dental formula is (I1/2 C1/1 P1/2 M3/3) X 2 = 28.

DISTRIBUTION

North America from central Mexico through the western to west-central continental United States and into extreme southwest Canada. Also in western Cuba.

HABITAT

Found in deserts, and other drier regions, they roost in small openings in cliffs, trees, and buildings.

BEHAVIOR

In addition to the normal echolocation calls used in hunting, pallid bats also have intraspecies communication calls. These

"directive" calls bring mothers and their young together, and also facilitate the gathering of adults in a population to a new roost. Pallid bats roost in caves, rock crevices, mines, hollow trees, and buildings and they have been reported to hibernate in some areas.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

An insectivorous bat that can live in an arid habitat in part by obtaining necessary water from its insect prey and employing water-conservation behaviors, such as folding its wings. Besides insects, they also eat scorpions and centipedes, as well as flower nectar and pollen.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Promiscuous. Mating starts in late October. Following delayed fertilization, gestation lasts about 60 days, and litters are born in late spring to early summer. Litter size is typically one or two altricial young per female. The young begin to fly at about one to one-and-a-half months. Young females attain sexual maturity during the first year, and males a year later.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS Aid cross-fertilization of plants. ♦

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