Kentucky Bat Working Group

Evening Bat (Nycticeius humeralis)


Kentucky Status: Threatened

Description: This bat is like a small version of the big brown bat, with glossy brown fur and blackish face, wings and feet.  It is noticeably smaller, however, typically reaching 4 inches (102 mm) in length with a wingspan of nearly 11 inches (280 mm).  This species also does not have a keeled calcar.

Range: The evening bat occurs locally throughout the eastern United States from central Pennsylvania and the southern Great Lakes, west to north-central Iowa, southeastern Nebraska, central Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas; it is much more widespread and common in the southern part of that range.

Kentucky Occurrence Summary: This species is relatively common only in the western one-third of Kentucky, but there are scattered records as far east as Breathitt County on the Cumberland Plateau.  The evening bat is essentially a summer resident, migrating southward in fall; there are apparently no winter records for the state.

Distribution in Kentucky:  

Habitat and Life History: Evening bats are not typically found in caves, and most or all probably winter to the south of Kentucky where they may remain active throughout the year.  These bats likely return to Kentucky during the latter part of April, and form summer colonies in both natural and artificial sites.  In many areas, hollow trees are used primarily, but many evening bats roost in buildings and barns.  There are even a few records of them roosting under bridges.  Females gather into maternity colonies while males roost separately, perhaps often singly. Two pups are typically born to each female during June and are on the wing within a few weeks.  Evening bats remain in Kentucky into September or October, but there are few records later in the year.  This species forages in a variety of semi-open habitats from wetlands and stream corridors to woodland edges and parks.  They prey upon a great variety of flying insects from small beetles to flies and moths.

Conservation: Although the evening bat has adapted to some of the changes that humans have brought to the landscape, it is likely that the conversion of forested wetlands to agricultural use has resulted in a significant decrease in prime roosting and foraging habitat.  Logging activities also have resulted in a loss of prime roosting trees in some situations.


Useful links:

eNature.com - Evening Bat

Evening Bat, Nycticeius humeralis

Meet Some Bats - The Evening Bat

Walker's Mammals of the World - Evening Bats


Back to the KBWG Homepage