25 Types of Bats in New Mexico

Types of Bats in New Mexico
Photo by Thomas Lipke

The great state of New Mexico is home to all kinds of beautiful creatures, including many species of bats.

Bats are some of the fascinating animals on the planet, and we’ve listed some fun facts about them below.

You can also find out how to identify each types of Bats in New Mexico! There are 25 types of bats found in New Mexico that you may be lucky enough to spot!

1. Big Brown Bat

It is also known as the noble Bat and is one of the most common types of bats in New Mexico. They live in forests, caves, and other dark places where they eat small animals like crickets, beetles, and cockroaches. 

The big brown Bat is at risk due to a fungus caused by people (it used to be just rodents). They can carry diseases like rabies, histoplasmosis, or even rabies-resistant strains of the bacterium Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes White-Nose Syndrome.

2. Hoary Bat

These types of Bats in New Mexico have been a favorite animal to study in literature. Common animals, such as the Hoary Bat, have been featured on book covers, illustrations, and in stories for children.

This type of Bat can often be found near mountain ranges or wooded areas where they roost in sheltered places. 

They use trees, bridges, and even caves as their homes. They mainly eat insects that are attracted to artificial light sources. 

With their keen sense of hearing, they fly towards sounds without emitting any sounds themselves, allowing them to sneak up on prey! All kinds of insects are dinner for them, so they feast on them and prepare for another night of hunting.

3. Silver-haired Bat

The silver-haired Bat and nocturnal forest creatures are types of Bats in New Mexico. It roosts in the daytime, but it is not known where they spend its day.

When roosting, their wings drooped around them to camouflage with tree bark and sometimes leaves. 

They use their sonar to catch prey at night, including beetles, other flying insects, and occasionally small lizards or rodents. They like to fly low to the ground with high concentrations of prey. 

These bats also find food by looking for insects that emit volatile substances from light glands on their legs or abdomens. These insects leave trails behind them as a beacon for hungry bats to find.

4. Eastern Red Bat

The eastern red BatBat is a small bat with long ears and only weighs 1/2 an ounce. These bat species are types of bats in New Mexico. 

It gets its name from its reddish-pink coat and is considered a warm-climate species. This means it prefers warmer temperatures than most bats.

It typically roosts in tree cavities during the day and flies out at night to feed insects and other nocturnal creatures. 

Unlike many other bats that use echolocation (an advanced sonar) to capture prey, the eastern red bats hunt visually. They rely heavily on sight to find their food.

5. Mexican Free-tailed Bat

The Mexican Free-tailed Bat, Tadarida brasiliensis, is a bat in the Molossidae family. The name Mexican refers to the species distribution across North America and Central America, not just to its country of origin. This means that they are types of Bats in New Mexico. 

They are closely related to two other species: Texas Free-tailed bats and Northern Broad-nosed bats. These three bat species can be distinguished by their teeth shapes and markings on their wings.

6. Big Free-tailed Bat

The Big Free-tailed Bat has been seen in twenty-one counties in New Mexico. However, it tends to make its home near the Rio Grande River. They are mainly known as types of Bats in New Mexico. 

It is so named because it is a giant bat and can live up to 25 years in the wild. They are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night or early morning hours.

The Big Free-tailed Bat has a wingspan of around four inches and eats insects that fly or walk across its path. 

It prefers low-hanging fruit, such as figs, which it uses its nose for sniffing out. It also hunts for prey by using echolocation to find insects. 

7. Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

The Townsend’s Big-eared Bat is a type of Bat found in New Mexico. They eat spiders, crickets, beetles, and flying insects that are typically too small to be eaten by other species of bats. 

The Townsend’s Big-eared Bat lives primarily in southwestern deserts and has been spotted near a few southwest caves and old mines.

Though these bats have never been seen during the day, they can occasionally be spotted at dusk or just before dawn.

8. Long-legged Bat

The Long-legged Bat is relatively large and is one of the more common types of bats in New Mexico. They can reach up to 8 inches long and have grey fur with brown stripes on their back. These bats roost in forests and trees but also stay close to water. 

This habitat diversity makes them one of the most likely bats to be seen by humans. The Long-legged Bat prefers to eat moths, flies, beetles, and other pests that can wreak havoc on crops. 

However, if it needs to, it will supplement its diet with fruit like figs and bananas. They are not often hunted for food or sport because they are so common. One of their distinguishing features from many other species is the lack of visible ears!

9. Fringed Myotis

The Fringed Myotis is one of the more common types of bats in New Mexico and can be found statewide. These bats’ most common roosting site is under tupelo leaves and cattails. However, they also inhabit empty buildings, cavities in cliffs, abandoned mines, and caves.

These bat species can also often be found hanging around lights at night. Fringed myotis are not considered very social and do not form large colonies like many other bat species.

They usually reside alone during their sleep hours but may share roosts with other fringe myotis during their waking hours.

10. Long-eared Myotis

Known as the lesser mouse-eared Bat, these types of bats in New Mexico can often be found hunting between weeds, grasses, and flowers.

Though they are smaller than most other types of bats in New Mexico, their ears are more significant than most other species. 

They also have small eyes compared to their relatives and have very keen senses. During the winter months, homeowners must keep the old light fixtures up to date with energy-efficient bulbs.

This is to make sure nothing interferes with these animals’ ability to fly or locate food sources.

11. Pallid Bat

The pallid bats are types of Bats in New Mexico. There are typically three habitats for pallid bats: caves, abandoned mines, and buildings. They have a low metabolic rate, so they fly infrequently. 

You’ll only find a pallid bat flying while feeding or seeking shelter from unfavorable conditions. Pallid bats usually feed on insects and spiders, which they catch with their feet while in flight.

They tend to roost in isolated areas to avoid disturbance when not providing or waiting out inclement weather. 

12. Yuma Myotis

Myotis yumanensis is a small bat that is a little over an inch long and is typically dark brown or black. The face and head are fuzzy or haired, and the ears are rounded with tufts. 

Yuma Myotis bats live along streams and rivers where there is lots of vegetation for the insects they feed on. They like to roost under bridges, rocks, buildings, trees, or anything that offers shelter for long periods.

13. Hoary Bat

The hoary Bat has a tan, light brown, or reddish-brown pelage with numerous fine hair tufts. This species is considered one of the more giant types of bats in New Mexico.

It has an average adult body weight ranging from 14 to 23 grams and a wingspan from 240 to 300 millimeters. 

Their skulls are typically 41 mm long, and their ears range from 20 to 35 mm. These bats are strictly insectivorous, primarily consuming beetles, mosquitoes, moths, ants, flies, and wasps. 

They roost alone during the day in tree cavities and move during twilight hours to occupy artificial structures such as bridges. 

14. Western Small-footed Myotis

Surprisingly, out of the 25 types of bats in New Mexico, there are only three species found in Albuquerque:

  • The small-footed myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum)
  • Big brown BatBat (Eptesicus fuscus)
  • Yuma bat (Corynorhinus townsendii)

Out of these three, the Western small-footed myotis is by far the most common. The females have been found with up to 4 pups at once and may give birth every other year.

Their populations can rapidly multiply. Their type feeds mainly on moths while they fly, which accounts for their high numbers.

15. California Myotis

The California Myotis is one of the most common types of bats in New Mexico. It can be found from sea level to over 9,000 feet in elevation. 

It is a small bat with long ears and a body about 3 inches long. The name for this Bat is derived from the two large masses of fur on its face that look like myotis (mouse) ears. They are usually seen flying around at night during summer, looking for insects. 

Still, they are also seen roosting during winter months inside trees, where they make their sleeping quarters by hanging upside down.

This particular Bat will sometimes hibernate through winter near streams, where it stays in moist places like caves and mineshafts.

16. Spotted Bat

They are minor types of Bast in New Mexico. It has bright chestnut brown fur on its back with white fur on its belly.

With an average weight of five grams, it’s the lightest-weight bat species in North America. It can carry as much as 40% of its body weight while flying. 

The longest these bats have been recorded is 63 mm long with a wingspan of 145 mm. They are one the smaller species by wing span.

17. Allen’s Big-eared Bat

Though they are not commonly seen, Allen’s big-eared Bat can be found in the southwestern region of the United States.

A native to the southwest, these long-lived species have been known to roost in caves and mines. They come out at night to forage for food such as insects and fruit on trees or near ground level. 

The Allen’s big-eared Bat is recognized by its large ears that are often upright during resting periods. Females have been known to mate with one male per year. However, females may remain pregnant for up to two years until they give birth to a single pup.

18. Western Mastiff Bat

The Western Mastiff Bats are giant types of bats in New Mexico. They live in many different habitats and can be found in wooded areas, caves, barns, and houses. 

Females have one baby every year, with each one weighing about 6 grams at birth. They are insectivores that hunt during the night. They hunt by hovering close to their prey and then scooping them up while they hold on with their strong teeth.

19. Canyon Bat

A Canyon Bat is one of the smaller types of bats in New Mexico. With their wingspan reaching less than 3 inches, they are an easy-to-miss sight in the sky. Despite their size, they are very social creatures that usually roost in groups of 30 or more individuals. 

They live predominantly near streams and rivers from California to as far east as Texas. These tiny creatures have a wingspan reaching less than 3 inches and live near streams and rivers. 

In addition, they are very social creatures who usually roost in groups of 30 or more individuals. These Bats live primarily from California to as far east as Texas.

20. Cave Myotis

The Cave Myotis are types of bats in New Mexico that hangs out exclusively in caves. They only come out of the caves when there’s a rare night without predators or human light pollution. 

Another name for this type of Bat is Dirty Myotis because it leaves so much guano behind in its cave. Other bats also sometimes use their caves as temporary homes, which is one way these little mammals spread rabies. 

There are usually around 50 million bats living in Texas alone! Did you know they can get rabies too?

21. California Leaf-nosed Bat

The California Leaf-nosed bats are the most widespread species of leaf-nosed types of bats in New Mexico. It lives almost exclusively in western regions.

They are found from southern Canada down to Baja, California, and throughout the West, including Montana, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. 

This Bat typically roosts during the day in sheltered areas with overhangs on cliffs or buildings. They can also hibernate near or within their roosting regions during winter.

Californian Leaf Nosed bats primarily eat moths and beetles (insects). One thing about this Bat is that it gives birth to a single pup each spring after a two-month gestation period.

22. Pocketed Free-tailed Bat

Some bats in New Mexico, such as the Coryderidae family, have teeth and use echolocation to find their prey. As for adaptations: many are nocturnal; some eat other insects, while others drink blood from mammals. 

Interestingly, bats are not necessarily out hunting at night – many will hang upside down in caves during the day. When it gets dark enough, they will come out and go on their nightly hunt for food. 

23. Southwestern Myotis

The bat population in New Mexico is diverse and beautiful. In Santa Fe, bats can be seen from March through November, but the peak season is from April to October. These bats roost in open cliff faces or under bridges in Southern and Northern New Mexico. 

They are small with a light brown or yellowish head, rusty red fur on the back, and a brownish belly. When they are first born, the baby myotis have grey fur that darkens over time to resemble adult bats.

24. Mexican Long-tongued Bat

These bats are types of bats in New Mexico, the southwestern United States, Guatemala, and northwestern parts of Central America. It has a distinctive face mask that extends around its head except for its eyes.

These are nocturnal and usually roost alone, except during winter, when they’ll roost in larger groups. 

One problem these bats encounter is being displaced by light pollution, which affects their reproductive hormones.

They primarily eat night-flying insects such as moths, flies, beetles, and mosquitoes, but they can also feed on cacti fruits. Another quirk about these bats is that it’s sometimes known to hang upside down!

25. Arizona Myotis

The Arizona Myotis is a type of Bat found in New Mexico, and it is commonly called the Cave Bat. They are brown or gray bats with a bluish tinge on their wings.

This Bat is considered near threatened because many populations have experienced significant declines due to human disturbance and habitat destruction. 

It feeds primarily on moths and smaller nocturnal insects. They have excellent hearing and use echolocation to locate prey in dark caves as they fly through tight spaces with accuracy!


Finding bats can be difficult because their habitats are typically hidden in dark places. To make it easier for you, here is a list of 25 types that have been spotted in New Mexico.

Hopefully, this guide has given you an idea of what kinds of bats are in the area. You might come across them when searching for them. 

Hopefully, you enjoyed learning about some of the 25 types of bats found in New Mexico. What was your favorite kind or species?

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