Massachusetts Bats are our only flying Massachusetts mammals and they are truly remarkable animals. It’s too bad their unwarranted Massachusetts reputation as bloodsucking and disease carrying bat creatures has prevented many people from appreciating how beneficial and unique they are.
Massachusetts Bats consume thousands of nocturnal flying insects including mosquitoes, moths, and beetles, making them a more efficient insect control than birds or bug zappers. Dr. Thomas Kunz, a bat researcher at Boston University in Massachusetts estimates that the bats living within Massachusetts Route 128 eat thirteen tons of insects each summer.
Massachusetts NATURAL HISTORY
Massachusetts bats belong to the Massachusetts order Chiroptera, which means “hand-wing.” Massachusetts bat wings are composed of two thin layers of skin or membrane, attached to elongated finger bones. There are four fingers and a thumb on each Massachusetts membrane which control the wing’s movement. The thumb, located at the top of the wing, acts as a Massachusetts hook with which the bat is able to crawl on flat surfaces. A similar Massachusetts membrane stretches between the tail and hind legs.
The two most common bats found in Massachusetts are the Massachusetts little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and the Massachusetts big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus), both roost in attics, barns, and other hot, dark places.
Massachusetts BAT IDENTIFICATION
The little Massachusetts brown and Massachusetts big brown bats have short, soft fur covering their head and body and, as their name suggests, both have rich brown bodies with slightly darker brown wings. The Massachusetts body of a little brown bat measures 4½ to 5½ inches long, including the tail, and has an 8½ to 10½ inch Massachusetts wingspan. The Massachusetts big brown bat’s body ranges from 5½ to 8 inches in length with a 12 to 11¼ inch wingspan.
The most common species in rural Massachusetts areas is the Massachusetts little brown bat. During the spring and summer Massachusetts females of this species form colonies consisting of hundreds of individuals. Massachusetts big brown bats, which prefer the more urban areas inside Route 495, are usually found in colonies of less than two hundred bats.
Massachusetts Bat FOOD
All Massachusetts bats found in Massachusetts are insectivores. They feed primarily at night, catching thousands of Massachusetts mosquitoes, moths and other night-flying insects while in flight. It is estimated that a Massachusetts individual bat can eat 600 insects per hour and many of these are insects that people regard as pests.