Northern Long-Eared Myotis: Myotis Septentrionalis

Image Of Northern Long-Eared Myotis

Northern Long-Eared Myotis Description

A medium-sized bat is the Northern Long-eared Bat, with relatively long ears and a long, sharply spotted tragus. On the back, the fur is dull brown, and on the underside, it is pale grayish brown. There are dark membranes, and the calcar is slightly keeled.

In total body length, adults typically measure 7.8-9.5 cm, with a tail length of 3.2-3.4 cm. The weight varies between 5.0-6.4 g. Its long ears and pointed tragi distinguish the Northern Long-eared Bat from the Little Brown Myotis. The bats’ ears extend at least 3 mm beyond their nose when folded forward. On the other hand, the Little Brown Myotis’s ears are even, or barely, extended beyond the tragi and the tip of the nose is shorter and blunted. 1Go To Source dnr.state.mn.us -“Myotis septentrionalis”

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Behavior Of The Northern Long-Eared Myotis

Northern myotis bats are commonly found in higher densities around the northern areas of their range during the summer. They are particularly dependent around this time on the richly forested habitats in the north.

These bats may occasionally be found roosting with other bats species, although they are much less social than other members of the Myotis genus. The sexes roost separately, but small maternity colonies of less than 60 individuals can form reproductive females.

The Northern long-eared myotis bats gather and move to the places where they hibernate in the late summer or early autumn, traveling up to 56 kilometers from their summer habitat. Although they sometimes form tiny groups, they usually hibernate alone.

These bats prefer moist, still, narrow crevices during hibernation, where temperatures may be as low as 1.6 degrees Celsius. In northern ranges, hibernation may last for 8 to 9 months; the hibernation length varies between different ranges and environments. Although not necessarily in sequential seasons, the same hibernacles are often inhabited more than once. 2Go To Source animaldiversity.org -“Myotis septentrionalis northern long-eared myotis”

Northern Long-Eared Bat Reproduction Habits

Gestation takes 50-60 days, and in early to mid-summer, parturition occurs. Annually, females bear a single offspring, and young-of-the-year may mate in the fall prior to hibernation. Females often roost colonially, although some may roost alone; maternity or nursery colonies may consist of up to 90 individuals (including young).

The largest reported maternity colony contained 39 adult females. Females exhibit high site loyalty to maternity roosts, returning to their native sites annually. 3Go To Source biologicaldiversity.org -“NATURAL HISTORY NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT } Myotis septentrionalis”

Typical Habitat Of The Northern Long-Eared Myotis

Over the year, northern long-eared bat habitat usage changes and varies based on sex and reproductive status. Reproductive females will roost away from males and non-reproductive females.

During summer months, northern long-eared bats usually roost in trees but are often found in human-made structures. Popular summer roosting locations for these bats include tree trunks, under tree bark, near streams/ponds, and in attics.

In winter, the northern long-eared bat hibernates in caves and abandoned mines and tends to find itself in deep crevices. 4Go To Source dnr.wi.gov -“Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) Species Guidance”

Northern Long-Eared Bat Range

The northern long-eared bat lives in both central and eastern United States, Canada, and British Columbia.

This species is found in 37 U.S. states such as Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and New York.

Diet Of The Northern Long-Eared Myotis

It should come as no surprise when it comes to prey that the northern long-eared bat is a nighttime predator. They fly, feeding on moths, flies, leafhoppers, caddisflies, and beetles, mainly through the undergrowth of forested areas. In mid-flight, these bats will often catch their prey, using echolocation to find where their next meal is concealed. 5Go To Source batcon.org -“NORTHERN LONG-EARED BAT”

Threats To The Northern Long-Eared Myotis Species 

One of the species of bats most affected by the disease white-nose syndrome is the northern long-eared bat. The northern long-eared bat was listed on April 2, 2015, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act due to declines caused by white-nose syndrome and continued spread of the disease. 6Go To Source fws.gov -“Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)”

 

Sources:

  1. Boman, Melissa. “Myotis Septentrionalis.” Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources, MNDNR, 2018, www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=AMACC01150.
  2. Ollendorff, J. 2002. “Myotis septentrionalis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 06, 2021 at https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Myotis_septentrionalis/
  3. “Natural History.” Center For Biological Diversity, CFBD, www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/northern_long-eared_bat/natural_history.html. Accessed 7 Jan. 2021.
  4. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 2013. Wisconsin Northern Long-Eared Bat Species Guidance. Bureau of
    Natural Heritage Conservation, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison, Wisconsin. PUB-ER-700.
  5. Bat Conservation International. “Northern Long-Eared Bat.” Bat Conservation International, Bat Conservation International, 2 Nov. 2020, www.batcon.org/article/northern-long-eared-bat.
  6. —. “Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis Septentrionalis).” U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, 31 Mar. 2020, www.fws.gov/Midwest/Endangered/mammals/nleb/index.html.