Biology of Little Brown Bat: Appearance, biology, life cycle, habitat, diet, behavior

The little brown bat is the most common of all bats in North America. Because of its large numbers and commonality with many other forms of bats, it is the most commonly studied of all the bat species as well.

The fur of the brown bat is just as described by its name – dark brown all over its body. The wingspan of the bat is about 8.5 to 10.5 inches. From head to tie it nearly as long as its wingspan and weight is no more than a few ounces, even for males. The ears of a bat are small with a rounded end (called the targus). The forehead is sloped and flattened. There are 38 teeth in an adult bats mouth, which includes its molars. These teeth are particularly sharp and allow the bat to capture food and keep it without it getting away.

The habitat of the little brown bat is found in most areas of North America. It is most often found in the northern part of the continent, primarily in areas of extreme cold. While almost exclusive to this continent, the brown bat has been found in Iceland and Kamchatka, but this was likely due to humans introducing the bats to these countries when bats traveled on ships as stowaways. This species of bats has three different roosting spots that it uses during their life span. These bats have a day roost, a night roost, and a hibernation roost. The day and night roosts are used primarily in the spring and summer time. As the temperatures start to dip the little brown bat will move into hibernation mode, and will use this roost. This is usually found in buildings or trees, but can also be found under giant rocks or wood piles, or even in caves.

These bats are insectivores, meaning that their diet is almost exclusively consisting of such insects as wasps, gnats, mosquitos, mayflies, moths and wasps. Since many of the insects they like to eat have a water stage to their lives, these bats will usually roost near water places where insects like mosquitos live.

The average little brown bat lives about 6-7 years. Many live beyond 10 years, but they are, surprisingly, the prey of many other animals, including birds, rats, and snakes. Many of the predators wait for them to fall asleep and then swoop in to attack and kill the hibernating animal. It is a brilliant plan that is highly effective.

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