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Indiana Myotis Myotis sodalis


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Indiana Myotis
credit: Cuppysfriend

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Family: Vespertilionidae, Vespertilionid Bats view all from this family

Description Small bat most closely resembling the Little Brown Myotis. Differs from that species in having sparser and shorter hairs on the toes, shorter hind feet, a slight keel on the calcar, a pinkish nose and duller pelage. Forearm 31-40mm.

Dimensions 73-99mm, 29-43mm, 3-10g

Endangered Status The Indiana Myotis is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennesee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. Bats thrive when their roosting caves are left undisturbed, and they suffer when they are intruded upon. The main factor in the decline of the Indiana Myotis and other bats is the intrusion into their caves by people; cave tours, spelunkers, vandals, and researchers all take a toll on these sensitive animals. Changes to their roosting caves, such as alterations to the airflow or blocking of entrances can make caves unsuitable. It is said that so many caves have been degraded that some 87 percent of the Indiana Bat population hibernates in only seven caves.

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, Forests & woodlands

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast

Discussion Hibernates in cold caves and mines with high humidity, where it sometimes forms large colonies. They cluster together tightly in the hibernaculum, with up 450 individuals per square foot of cave ceiling. This Endangered species is sensitive to disturbance in the hibernacula. Summer nursery roosts are under tree bark, especially in hickory trees. Found in a variety of habitats in eastern deciduous forests.