Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Gray Myotis Myotis grisescens


enlarge +

Gray Myotis
credit: Cuppysfriend

All Images

1 article:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Vespertilionidae, Vespertilionid Bats view all from this family

Description A large Myotis with uniformly-colored gray or brown hairs on the back. Unique in having the wing membranes attached to the ankles rather than to the toes, and the calcar lacks a keel. Forearm 40-46mm. Hind feet are less haired than in the Little Brown Myotis.

Dimensions 80-96mm, 32-45mm, 4-6g

Endangered Status The Gray Myotis is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennesee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Such factors as disturbances from cave exploration, the opening of caves to the public, and the flooding of caves through dam-building have caused a serious decline in populations of this bat. When humans disturb bats in their caves, the agitated bats may accidentally drop their young to their deaths. Excessive harrassment will cause bats to leave a cave altogether; they are sometimes then forced to settle in a less suitable roosting spot. Although this bat declined by perhaps 50 percent in the late 20th century, thanks to its protected status, many of its populations appear to have stabilized.

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 Canyons & caves, Lakes, ponds, rivers & streams

Range Plains, Great Lakes, Southeast

Discussion Females form large maternity colonies in caves in the summer. Endangered, virtually the entire population hibernates in nine caves in the southeastern United States. The Gray Myotis forages mainly over water and ranges over long distances from summer day roosts. Found primarily in karst areas with underlying limestone caves in the southeast and south-central U.S.