The Echo

5 Fascinating Facts about the Florida Bonneted Bat

Published on May 28, 2020
Written by Kristen Pope

The federally endangered Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus) lives only in south and central Florida and is truly one-of-a-kind. What’s so special about America’s rarest bat?

1) The Florida Bonneted Bat (FBB) has a unique, some might even say “edgy” look. Patches of white skin and fur are found on up to 80% of these amazing bats—typically on their chests. These “hypopigmented marks” can be found on other mammals, but usually just a few individuals have the markings. But since they’re one of the spiffiest bats around, most FBBs are always dressed to impress.

2) Is that a plane flying overhead? Nope, it’s an FBB. With a 20-inch wingspan, these long-winged mammals are the second largest bat in the entire U.S.! Because of their size, they don’t fit in a regular bat house and need their own unique bat house design to accommodate their size.

3) They love to live in the lap of luxury. The ground floor just won’t do. Instead, these highly discerning bats prefer to stay on the second floor or higher—often under buildings’ Spanish roof tiles. Since their wings are so long and narrow, taking off from a higher location allows an easier, more natural take-off—and it allows them a great viewpoint from which to hunt tasty insects.

4) These city bats don’t get lonely too often. In urban environments, they often live in harems with one male and up to 15 females. When male pups become adults, they gradually build their harems, one female at a time.

5) The sweet whispers of bat calls are usually beyond the range of human hearing, but humans can sometimes hear the FBB. It has one of the lowest frequency echolocation calls of all the bats in North America (15 kHz), hovering just around the maximum hearing range of the average adult (and still within the maximum range of young humans, who can hear up to 20 kHz). If you are ever walking at night in an area where these bats occur, keep your ears open for high-pitched, bird-like chirps. Those might actually be bats!

Our boots are on the ground making a real, tangible difference for #ourendangeredneighbor. We’re gaining knowledge to protect this species, raising awareness in the local community, and creating safe habitats.

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