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Western Pipistrelle Pipistrellus hesperus


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Western Pipistrelle
credit: NPS

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Family: Vespertilionidae, Vespertilionid Bats view all from this family

Description Tiny bat with blunt, slightly curved tragus, and small hind foot less than half as long as the tibia. The black face mask contrasts strongly with yellowish, gray-brown body color. Active in the early twilight, this species has slow erratic flight that looks almost like a butterfly. Forearm 26-33mm. Found from sea level to 3000m, favors canyons and cliff faces, but occurs in a wide variety of desert scrub and arid grassland habitats as well.

Dimensions 60-86mm, 25-36mm, 2-6g

Warning Bats are susceptible to rabies, a serious viral disease that results in death if untreated. Rabid bats rarely attack humans or other animals, but bats found lying on the ground may be rabid. Never touch or pick up any bat. Stay away from any animal that seems to be acting strangely and report it to animal-control officers. If you are bitten by a possibly rabid animal, you must immediately consult a doctor for a series of injections; there is no cure once symptoms emerge.

Habitat Deserts, Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Canyons & caves, Cities, suburbs & towns

Range Plains, Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas, California, Northwest

Discussion Roosts in crevices and mine tunnels in rocky outcrops near water sources. With expanding human populations, the bats have taken to roosting in stucco cracks near swimming pools as a logical substitute.