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Allen's big-eared bat is found in extreme southern Nevada, the southern third of Utah, throughout Arizona, in the southwestern quarter of New Mexico, and south through the interior of Mexico. It is most often encountered in ponderosa pine, pinyon-juniper, pine-oak woodland, and riparian habitats above 3,000 feet. Maternity colonies of 30 to 150 individuals have been found in mine shafts, boulder piles, lava beds, and beneath the loose bark of large ponderosa pine snags.
Colonies are most often found in rocky places near riparian habitat or woodlands. These bats feed on moths, soldier beetles, dung beetles, leaf beetles, roaches, and flying ants, either catching them in flight or gleaning them from foliage. Their enormous ears combined with unique lappets easily distinguish them from all other species. Some of their echolocation calls are audible to humans as a series of "cheeps" or "clicks." Vandalism in caves and closures of abandoned mines threaten maternity roosts as does loss of old snags.