Western Red Bat
We often pick up the echolocation of the Western Red bat, Lasiurus blossevillii, around the reserve and have captured several in our nets although they are quite rare in our area.
This is a small sized insectivorous bat that is found in the western part of North America and in South America as far south as Northern Argentina. It is part of the family Vespertillionidae which is the largest bat family.
It is unusual in that it can bear up to 4 pups and the female has 4 nipples to cater for this event. It is considered migratory in some parts of the continent.
The Western Red Bat is a small to medium sized bat weighing about 12g with a forearm measurement of less than 45mm. It has thick insulating fur which covers most parts of its body including parts of the wings and tail. The fur has a frosted appearance which is quite unusual in bats and is probably an adaptation for camouflage.
It also has an unusual bony tail which it uses as a feeler.
It hunts on the wing, predominantly moths, and can fly long distances to its hunting ground. The wings are relatively long and streamlined giving a high aspect ration and also a high wing loading. This is probably because it is capable of migrating long distances. It would not be efficient at hunting in a restricted area eg around trees as it has a wide turning circle.
It roosts in trees and in other open spaces which is probably why the coat is so thick.