Sunday, July 12, 2009

Little Brown Bats in Stedman

Myotis lucifugus has brownish-black fur that has a glossy sheen to it and a belly that is grey-brown. The bat’s feet are mainly for clinging while it roosts. The wings of a bat are superbly constructed and include four fingers and a thumb. At the end of the thumb is a hooked claw, which serves to help the bat climb and crawl along surfaces.

Little brown bats are insectivores, eating moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes, midges and mayflies, among others. Since many of their preferred meals are insects with an aquatic life stage, such as mosquitoes, they prefer to roost near water. They echolocate to find their prey. Often they will catch larger prey with a wingtip, transfer it to a cup formed by their tail, then eat it - smaller prey are usually just caught in the mouth. They often use the same routes over and over again every night, flying 3-6 meters high above water or among trees. An adult can sometimes fill its stomach in 15 minutes; young have more difficulty. If they do not catch any food, they will enter a torpor similar to hibernation that day, awakening at night to hunt again.

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