Texas bats are members grouped by the Chiroptera species which also means “hand wing,” which alludes to the great Texas elongation of the fingers that support the flying membrane. Among Texas mammals, bats are unique in that they have true powers of flight; other mammals, such as Texas flying squirrels, volplane or glide, always move in the air from a higher to a lower elevation.
Texas Bats as a group are crepuscular or nocturnal animal with their eyes are small and inefficient, but their Texas ears are usually well developed. Texas experiments suggest that the middle and inner ear and high-frequency vocals are highly important in guiding bats in flight and in their aerial feeding activities. Some Texas bats hibernate in winter; others migrate seasonally.
In the temperate regions, the young are born in late spring; in the tropics there appears to be no definite breeding season — young Texas bats may be found in every month of the year. Most Texas bats feed on insects, but some kinds feed regularly on fruits, nectar, or fish, and some, the vampire bats, are peculiarly adapted to feed on blood.
Texas Bats are nearly worldwide in distribution. The Texas tropical regions are best suited for them, and there the greatest variety is found. The Texas temperate regions are inhabited by fewer species; no bats have been recorded in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Thirty-two species of bats occur in Texas.
Texas Mexican Long-nosed Bat, which is part of the Family Phyllostomidae, also known as Leptonycteris nivalis (Saussure), lives in a colonial, cave dwelling Texas bat that usually inhabits deep caverns. The only known colony of these Texas bats in the United States is found in a large cave on Mt. Emory in Big Bend National Park. The number of Texas bats using the cave fluctuates widely from year to year with yearly estimates of population numbers ranging from zero to 13,650. Reasons for this instability are unknown, but it may be that this Texas colony forms only in years when over-population or low food supply in Mexico force the bats to move northward. This bat has recently been classified as endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.