- Scientific Name
- Myotis vivesi
- Global Conservation Status (IUCN)
Diet: The fish-eating myotis is the only bat in the world that hunts on the ocean, feeding mainly on lanternfish and shrimp-like crustaceans. They feed on marine food all year and supplement their diet with insects during the summer months.
Fun Fact: Fish-eating myotis are social eaters, often flying together while hunting on the open seas. By staying close to each other in flight, they can eavesdrop on the feeding sounds of fellow bats.
Appearance: The largest of any Myotis species in the western hemisphere, fish-eating myotis, weighing an average of 25 grams. They have large, elongated feet averaging just over 2 cm, reaching almost 15% of their total body length. They hunt by raking these large feet and claws through the water to capture fish. They range in color from buffy brown to pale tan.
Habitat: Fish-eating bats have a restricted range, found only on islands and rocky coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico. They roost in caves and rock crevices, though they have also been found hiding under flat stones and turtle shells along the shoreline.
Conservation Concerns: Due to their restricted range and estimated population declines of over 30%, fish-eating myotis are categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN. One of the primary threats to this bat is introduced predators like cats and rats. Other threats include habitat loss and climate change induced changes in temperature and storms.
Written by Alyson Brokaw
Updated April 2023