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California Myotis Myotis californicus


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California Myotis
credit: The High Fin Sperm Whale/CCSA

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Family: Vespertilionidae, Vespertilionid Bats view all from this family

Description Tiny bat with short ears, relatively short hind feet, and an obviously keeled calcar. Differs from Long-legged Myotis in having shorter forearm and tibia, and less fur on ventral surface of wing membrane. Forearm 30-35mm. Flies slowly but acrobatically early in the evening, often less than 3m above the ground, and frequently over or near water.

Dimensions 70-94mm, 31-42mm, 3-5g

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.

Similar Species Very similar to Western Small-footed Myotis, but Californian Myotis is slightly more delicate, often has tricolored pelage, and hair that extends further down the forehead.

Habitat Deserts, Canyons & caves, Forests & woodlands

Range Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Texas, California, Northwest, Western Canada

Discussion Summer roosts include caves, mines, on rocky hillsides, under tree bark, on shrubs, and even on the ground. In winter it hibernates in caves and mines, however, at low elevations some animals may be active year round. Occupies deserts and arid interior mountain basins in western North America.