- Common Name
- spotted bat
Pronunciation: you-derm-a mac-you-lay-tum
The spotted bat is one of America’s most striking mammals. Its long, silky fur is snow white beneath and jet black above, dramatically accentuated by large white spots on its shoulders and rump. Its translucent pink ears, nearly as long as its body, are the largest of any bat found in the United States, and it has pink wings to match! Initially thought to be extremely rare, the spotted bat is now known to occupy a rather large range throughout central western North America from southern British Columbia to northern Mexico.
From its first scientific discovery in 1891 until 1965, only 35 specimens were known to science. Even now, it is one of America’s least known animals, but the rarity with which it is observed likely does not reflect its true status in nature. Its habits and choice of roosting sites high in cliff crevices make the spotted bat difficult to observe and unlikely to be harmed by humans. This bat appears to feed almost exclusively on moths, which it captures high above the ground. It is one of the few bats that uses echolocation frequencies low enough to be audible to humans.