Kentucky Bat Working Group

Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)


Description: A medium-sized bat, up to 4 inches (102 mm) in length with a wingspan of about 11½ inches (292 mm).  The batís fur is overall dark, blackish or blackish-brown, broadly tipped with whitish, especially on the back.  There is also a noticeable spot of orangish fur behind each ear.  The ears are relatively short and rounded, with a blunt tragus.

Range: Much of North America from southeastern Alaska and southern Canada, south to northern Mexico and the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States.

Kentucky Occurrence Summary: The species has been recorded from scattered localities across the state; it occurs primarily as a transient, but some likely overwinter.

Distribution in Kentucky:  

Habitat and Life History: This species is primarily a forest bat, using hollow trees, tree cavities, and crevices beneath peeling bark during the summer and migration, although there are not any mid-summer records for Kentucky.  Unlike many of our bats, silver-haired bats typically roost singly.  These bats migrate southward in fall and sometimes can be found in rock fissures of clifflines and cave entrances in winter; however, they may continue to use hollow trees if weather conditions permit.  Silver-haired bats primarily use stream corridors and lake and pond margins for foraging, apparently utilizing a great variety of prey items.  During cold winter weather, a few individuals usually can be found in the colder portions of caves, typically wedged far back into a crevice in the rock.  Most such Kentucky records are from the western portion of the Cumberland Plateau.


Useful links:

Animal Diversity Web - Silver-haired Bat

eNature.com - Silver-haired Bat

Silver-haired Bat

Silver-haired Bat - Lasionycteris noctivagans


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