- Common Name
- California leaf-nosed bat
Pronunciation: ma-crow-tus cal-a-forn-a-cus
The California leaf-nosed bat is the only bat in the United States to have large ears and a nose leaf. It is also one of the most maneuverable in flight. With short, broad wings, it can fly at low speeds using minimal energy.
This bat is a “gleaning” insectivore which captures prey such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and sphinx moths straight from the ground or foliage rather than in flight. It typically hunts within a few feet of the ground using its superior eyesight to search for insects. California leaf-nosed bats do not hibernate, nor do they migrate. They can be found in Sonoran and Mojave Desert scrub habitats in the Colorado River valley in southern California, Nevada and Arizona, and throughout western Mexico. They are susceptible to human disturbance which can be especially detrimental to the species during summer months when these bats are rearing young.
Human disturbance of caves in which they roost is a major threat. Furthermore, because they often roost in abandoned mines, reclamation practices and re-working old mines can severely impact populations.