Eastern Red Bat, Lasiurus borealis
The eastern red bat (Lasiurus borealis) is one of over three hundred species in the Vespertilionidae family, better known as the vesper family. The range of this bat includes Bermuda and the Bahamian Islands, but it is most widespread in North America. The eastern red bat prefers to roost among leaves, dead or alive, on branches of hardwood trees. They have been known to roost on loblolly trees when living in pine plantations.
Eastern red bats have fur colors that differ with sex. Females are typically a copper brown, with white tips on the ends of the fur. This produces a frosted appearance. Males are usually a reddish color. The average weight of the eastern red bat is between .3 ounces and .5 ounces. They can have a body length of up to 4.4 inches.
The migration routines of these bats may include going south for the winter, but little is known about them. During the winter, eastern red bats will forage on warm nights, and are known to do so on warm days as well. The main diet of this bat consists of moths, but they will also eat flies, beetles, and other insects. They use echolocation to sense their food. They have also been seen hunting over small streams and roads, despite the fact that they are better suited for large, open spaces. Bats will enter a lethargic state on warmer days during winter, roosting in trees. They resemble dead leaves hanging from the branches, which helps protect them from predators. If it is cold, they choose to hide underneath leaf debris on the ground, using their furry tails as a sort of blanket.
It is thought that the eastern red bat’s mating season is between late summer and early fall. The sperm is stored inside of the female bat and the egg is not fertilized unit spring. Females will typically give birth to three or four pups in June, roosting with them until they are weaned. Females must have higher temperatures than males in order to mate, and this limits female migration to cooler places during the warmer months. The conservation status of the eastern red bat is of least concern.
Image Caption: Red bat. Credit: Wikipedia