One of Indiana’s most remarkable animals is the bat, with over 50 different species calling the state home.
Here’s your comprehensive guide to Indiana bats, including various types of bats in Indiana and where you can find them.
Bats play an essential role in our ecosystem, providing natural pest control and pollinating plants.
Unfortunately, bats are often misunderstood and vilified, but they are fascinating creatures that deserve our appreciation and respect.
Here’s your guide to the different types of bats in Indiana and where you can find them.
1. Hoary Bat
There are many different types of bats in Indiana, but the Hoary Bat is one you’ll find mostly on the Eastern side.
They have a grayish-white belly, and their back is covered with brown fur.
They love to live near bodies of water because they feed on insects like beetles, moths, flies, bugs, and more.
When it comes to breeding seasons, these bats mate for life. The female will often make two or three broods each year, and she can give birth to one pup per litter.
However, it’s best to avoid them altogether because some carry rabies.
2. Big Brown Bat
The Big Brown Bat is the most commonly found in the State of Indiana. These different types of bats in Indiana are giant brown bats that can fly with one wing if needed.
They typically live up to 12 years, but they can also come into contact with a fungus called white-nose syndrome that causes them to die within a few months.
When not affected by white-nose syndrome, they migrate to warmer climates during the winter.
A colony of these bats was first discovered in Washington County at the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area.
When researchers checked on them, there was no white-nose syndrome on any of the bats.
3. Little Brown Bat
Indiana is home to more than just the Little Brown Bat. Five different types of bats in Indiana inhabit the Hoosier state.
Four out of five of these bats are relatively small, with a body size ranging from 3.5-8 inches and a wingspan reaching about 12 inches.
4. Eastern Pipistrelle
It has a larger body size of 8-11 inches, with a wingspan of up to 15 inches.
These different types of bats in Indiana have a typical diet – all five subsist primarily on insects, including beetles, moths, wasps, crickets, and flies!
They find these bugs using echolocation, which helps them navigate by producing high-frequency sound waves to detect objects.
They then catch the prey using their teeth and fly away before eating it.
5. Tri-colored Bat
Tri-colored bats have stripes on their back that cover their entire body, whereas big brown bats only have bars on parts of their backs.
In addition, These different types of bats in Indiana weigh about half as much as big brown bats at 12 grams versus 25 grams.
Another difference between these two bats is that the tri-colored bat prefers to eat moths and bugs, whereas the big brown bat eats insects and nectar.
The size of these animals also determines where you will find them: Tri-colored bats are found in woodlands or fields, while Big Brown bats prefer forested areas like large trees or understory vegetation.
6. Red Bat
Try the red bat if you’re looking for a bat that likes to live near people.
They like living in trees that grow around suburban neighborhoods or even the occasional abandoned building.
Some red bats occasionally venture into the city but prefer rural areas with plenty of trees for perching.
Red bats eat more insects than other types of bats in Indiana, making them beneficial to humans as pest control.
These are also some of the only bats that use echolocation, emitting ultrasound pulses from their mouths or noses to find prey.
However, red bats often fly too close to the ground and can be found by listening to a faint clicking sound.
In addition, they also have large ears on their faces, making them good at catching sounds at night.
7. Southeastern Myotis
The southeastern myotis is a small bat that weighs less than three-quarters of an ounce. It lives mainly in the eastern half of North America.
These different types of bats in Indiana are one of the only ones that can fly at night without emitting echolocation calls, but they will use them if they need to find prey or avoid obstacles.
They are also one of the only bats found east of the Rocky Mountains, so they’re not common here. If you happen to see one, it’s probably because humans have forced them out.
Habitat destruction is their biggest threat (logging, construction, mining), but there are also things like power lines and cars, which can be lethal for them too.
Regarding food sources, these bats eat almost exclusively insects, some fruits, and other animals.
For example, southeastern Myotis have been seen eating mosquitoes near wetlands but have also been spotted feeding on berries from fruit trees during fall months.
8. Eastern Small Footed Myotis
Eastern small-footed myotis is one of the most common bat species, with populations stretching from Canada to Central America.
They are often roosted under loose tree bark or in attics or buildings. Eastern small-footed myotis like to eat insects, and they make up a large portion of Indiana’s insect population.
Its population has declined rapidly due to habitat loss and human disturbance.
9. Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
Indiana is home to a variety of bats. The eastern red bat is another example, though not found in the state. Rafinesque’s big-eared bats hunt primarily for crickets.
These different types of bats in Indiana have threatened species, meaning they are protected. It is illegal to harass or kill these animals, so leave it be if you come across one.
They’re not dangerous; just interesting to observe! Eastern red bats typically eat insects like beetles, moths, and flies.
Eastern red bats aren’t more significant than most other bats, but that distinctive red fur makes them stand out.
We’ve got plenty more information about these fantastic creatures! Check it out by scrolling down!
10. Gray Bat
Indiana is a great place to find bats. We have the largest population of Gray bats east of the Mississippi.
These bats in Indiana can make up to 1,000 clicks per second, which helps them find food.
These different types of bats in Indiana are also called American pipistrelle bats because they are small with long noses that resemble those found on house sparrows.
These tiny creatures can weigh as little as one ounce! The Gray bat is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act, so humans need to do their part by protecting bat habitat from destruction.
11. Evening Bat
As a result, they rely more heavily on their sense of hearing for hunting and navigating when compared with other mammals, such as humans.
In addition, it is common for these different types of bats in Indiana to leave their roosts before sunset in search of food and return after dark, so they have enough time to eat before darkness makes it difficult to find insects.
12. Silver-haired Bat
Indiana’s only non-native bat is the Silver-Haired Bat. Silver Haired Bats are migratory, unlike other bats, which means they travel to and from different habitats.
These types of bats in Indiana typically live along a north-south flyway stretching from Canada to Central America.
13. Little Brown Bat
Little Brown bats can be found living under loose tree bark when the weather is cooler. When the weather is warmer, they can hang out on the sides of buildings.
These different types of bats in Indiana are nocturnal, so you may not see them when it’s bright outside during the daytime.
If you happen to come across a Little Brown bat during the day, it’s likely because they’re taking a snooze.
14. Northern long-eared Bat
One type of bat with a significant population in the state is the Northern long-eared bat.
Indiana’s different types of bats are primarily found during autumn, winter, and early spring when roosting with other bats inside tree cavities or crevices.
However, these particular types of bats in Indiana can also be found in buildings if they perch near an open window that leads to a hollow spot on the building’s exterior.
Their gray fur, reddish brown on the upper side, can be identified. The underside is lighter colored, and this creature has big ears extending about one inch from its head.
The northern long-eared bat usually weighs about one ounce for males and about two ounces for females.
It feeds primarily on flying insects such as moths, beetles, mosquitoes, and flies but also consumes plant material like berries or corn leaves that it gathers from the ground.
You can find different types of bats in Indiana, each with unique qualities.
Whether you want to catch a glimpse, eat an easy meal, or need help with your health, Indiana’s bats are ready and waiting.
These different types of bats in Indiana are endangered or threatened species that need protection.
They are a nocturnal species, meaning they sleep during the day and hunt at night.