- Scientific Name
- Lasionycteris noctivagans
- Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon, North America, USA, Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Utah, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Idaho, Washington, Wyoming, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, Alaska
Pronunciation: lay-zee-oh-nick-ter-is nock-ti-vah-gans
Silver-haired Bats are among the most common bats in forested areas of America, most closely associated with coniferous, mixed coniferous and deciduous forests, especially in old growth forests. They form maternity colonies almost exclusively in tree cavities or small hollows. And, like many forest-roosting bats, Silver-haired Bats switch roosts throughout the maternity season. Because Silver-haired Bats are dependent upon roosts in old growth areas, managing forests for diverse age structure and maintaining forested corridors are important to sustaining these bats.
It is estimated that these bats require densities of dead and dying trees — at least 21 snags per hectare. Often forest management practices have fallen far short of this figure. Unlike many bat species, Silver-haired Bats appear to hibernate mainly in forested areas, though they may be making long migrations from their summer forest roosts to winter forest sites. Typical hibernation roosts for this species include small tree hollows, beneath exfoliating bark, in wood piles, and in the crevices of cliff faces. Occasionally Silver-haired Bats will hibernate in cave entrances, especially in northern regions of their range. Like Big Brown Bats, Silver-haired Bats have been documented to feed on many insects perceived as pest species to humans, agriculture, and forestry.
Even though they are highly dependent upon old-growth forest areas for roosts, Silver-haired Bats feed predominantly in disturbed areas, sometimes at treetop levels, often in small clearings and along roadways or water courses. Though their diets vary widely, these bats feed chiefly on small, soft-bodied insects. Silver-haired Bats have been known to eat flies, midges, leafhoppers, moths, mosquitoes, beetles, crane flies, lacewings, caddisflies, ants, crickets, and occasional spiders.