|The Mammals of Texas -
Chiroptera : Family
Vespertilionidae : Lasiurus seminolus (Rhoades)
Description. Similar to Lasiurus borealis but rich mahogany brown, slightly frosted with
whitish. Dental formula as in L. blossevillii. External measurements average: total length,
103 mm; tail, 44 mm; hind foot, 10 mm; ear, 11 mm;
forearm, 39 mm.
Distribution in Texas. From East Texas
(oak-hickory, pine-oak, and longleaf pine forest region)
eastward along the coast to Florida and the Carolinas.
Habits. The distribution of
Seminole bats seems to be closely associated with the
distribution of Spanish moss, the clumps of which provide
roosting sites. The adult bats are solitary and roosts
are usually occupied by a single individual, or a female
with young. Bat-inhabited moss clumps are usually shaded
from the sun and often on the west and southwest
exposures of oak trees. Bats have been observed roosting
in such clumps from 1 to 5 m above the ground.
The bats emerge from their daytime
roosts early in the evening and forage among or above the
crowns of the trees, over watercourses, and around
clearings. They may occasionally alight on vegetation to
capture prey. Their food consists of true bugs, flies,
beetles, and even ground-dwelling crickets.
The two to four (normally two) young
are born in late May or June. The young bats grow rapidly
and are thought to be capable of flight at the age of 3
or 4 weeks.
Seminole bats are thought to be
resident within their range in the Deep South. They do
not hibernate in the true sense, but rather are active
throughout the winter when weather conditions permit.
Observations indicate that on days when the ambient
temperature is below 20°C the bats do not leave their
daytime roosts, but whenever temperatures in the evening
exceed 20°C they emerge and take wing.
Photo credit: John L. Tveten.