Spotted Bat (Euderma maculatum)

The spotted bat is perhaps the most beautifully coloured mammal of North America. It has black fur with white spots. The spots consist of two spots on the back over the shoulders, as well as one white spot on the rump. There is often a ring of white around the base of it's enormous pink ears. The fur on the under side, is usually black, with white tips.

Spotted bats are exactly the same size as Big Brown bats, but are easily distinguished by the colour as well as the ears. They weigh between 15 and 20 grams, and the ears are 45 to 50 mm long which is almost as long as their entire body (including their heads)!

Equally distinguishing, is their echolocation ability. They typically call at 15 to 9 kHz, which is clearly audible to humans. Hunting at 15 - 30 feet above the ground, they consume enormous numbers of moths. They will follow the moth to within 1 m of the ground, intensifying their feeding buzz as they get closer to the ground. Unlike many other insect eating bats, the spotted bat will fly all night, covering as much as 20 km per night, returning near sunrise to their homes in rocky cliffs. Unlike Little Brown bats, females do not return home during the night to feed the babies.

Not much is known about the Spotted bat, but it's range extends from southern B.C. (the Okanagan Valley), along the western regions of the U.S. into central Mexico. It is believed that this beautiful bat qualifies for the endangered list, but without a census, it is not listed as an endangered species.

(Thank-you to Dr. Merlin Tuttle, Bat Conservation International for use of these pictures)