Do you know how many types of bats are found in South Carolina? What do they look like, and where can you find them?
Bats may not be the first thing, but eight types of bats are found in SC – not to mention the millions of winged creatures living throughout the year!
Learn about these bat species and behaviors, or quiz your friends about which types of Bats In South Carolina might lurk outside your home tonight!
1. Big Brown Bat
The Big Brown Bat is also known as the Common Bat. These types of bats In South Carolina are found in many parts of the world, most commonly in North America. They can grow up to 18 inches long and have a 12-16 inches wide wingspan.
The Big Brown Bat has brown fur, large ears, and a nose shaped like an upturned snout. When they fly, their wings make a whooshing sound with each stroke.
They have a diet that includes invertebrates such as beetles, cockroaches, crickets, katydids, and cicadas. Their name comes from the color of their fur.
If you spot one, don’t panic! The Big Brown Bat prefers open areas near streams or ponds and rarely ventures into homes or other buildings.
2. Hoary Bat
The hoary bat is the only bat that can be found in the United States. It is one of four species in North America: the Mexican free-tailed bat, the northern long-eared bat, and the evening bat. The hoary bat is known for its distinctive coloration, which includes a white belly with black fur on its back.
It has a head and body length of 2 to 4 inches and weighs between 3 to 5 grams. Hoary bats are also identified by their mustache or elongated nose leaves that extend past their mouth.
These bats live in caves year-round but migrate out during summer to look for food sources such as moths, insects, and beetles.
3. Silver-Haired Bat
The silver-haired bat is a small bat found in the southeastern United States. Adult silver-haired bats are about three inches long and weigh about an ounce.
They are mostly brown with silvery tips on their fur, which gives them the appearance of being covered in a light frosting or powdery snow.
The fur on the underside of their wings is light brown or cream-colored. These types of bats in South Carolina can be found throughout much of Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, as well as eastern Louisiana and Mississippi; however, they have been absent from many parts of Arkansas for over 30 years due to white-nose syndrome.
4. Little Brown Bat
The Little Brown Bat is the most common in the United States, from southern Canada to northern Mexico. These types of bats In South Carolina prefer open areas and can be found near water or forest clearings. The little brown bat has a wingspan of about ten inches.
They are nocturnal creatures who sleep during the day and emerge to hunt for food at night. The little brown bat is an insectivore and often feeds on mosquitoes, moths, flies, and other small insects attracted to light sources.
5. Eastern Red Bat
Bats are the only mammals that can fly, and there are 17 different species in the United States alone. The eastern red bat can be found in many states, including South Carolina. It prefers to roost in caves or abandoned buildings during the day but will also live in trees if necessary.
The eastern red bat typically eats insects and is nocturnal. Some common predators include snakes, owls, raccoons, and cats.
However, unlike most other types of bats In South Carolina, they can go for long periods without food when winter comes around.
They’re often seen hanging upside down under eaves and crawling on fences, and they generally weigh about 1 ounce.
6. Tricolored Bat
The tricolored bat can be found throughout most of the United States and is one of the few bat species that roost in trees. The scientific name for the tricolored bat is Perimyotis subflavus.
This species has been documented in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, but sightings have also been documented as far north as New York and Pennsylvania.
These types of bats In South Carolina are migratory animals that travel 1,500 miles a year. However, they typically only migrate when looking for food sources or during harsh winter months when their hibernation sites are unavailable.
In addition, the tricolored bat is solitary, which means they don’t share their roosting sites with other bats as other species do.
7. Northern Long-eared Bat
Native to North America, the northern long-eared bat is often found in the eastern U.S., including parts of the Carolinas.
These types of bats In South Carolina are active at night and feed on insects they catch in flight. Northern long-eared bats are most often seen around forested areas or near rivers and streams, where there is a good supply of insects for them to eat.
This species does not have long ears but a pointed nose despite its name. The fur on its back ranges from brownish gray to grayish brown with an orange tint; it also has light pink fur on its belly. Northern long-ears can grow up to 3 inches (7 cm) long with a wingspan of 10 inches (25 cm).
8. Evening Bat
The evening bat, or Nycticeius humeralis, is found across the southern US and Central America. It is the smallest bat in North America, with a body length of 3 to 4 inches.
The evening bat is common in deciduous forests and open areas near trees. It feeds primarily on insects and can be found around water sources, including ponds, lakes, and streams.
The evening bat has a brownish-gray back with a white underbelly which helps it camouflage itself against tree bark during hunting hours.
These types of bats In South Carolina generally roost in sheltered areas such as caves or rock crevices during the day to avoid predators like hawks and owls that hunt at night.
9. Eastern Small-footed Bat
The Eastern Small-footed Bat is one of the most common bats in North America. It has a wingspan reaching up to 12 inches and an average weight of 1.5 ounces.
These types of bats In South Carolina are also one of the smallest bat species in North America and have been known to live up to 20 years.
They feed mostly on insects but occasionally eat small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, and snakes. This bat does not have well-developed echolocation abilities and relies heavily on sight when hunting for prey or evading predators.
As a result, they can be found in large colonies (upwards of 10,000) during the summer months when insect populations are high and their feeding needs are greatest.
10. Indiana Bat
The Indiana bat is a type of bat that is found in the United States. However, these types of bats In South Carolina can also be found in other parts of the world.
It has a body length ranging from 2 to 3 inches and weighs about 3/4 to 1 ounce, and the wingspan ranges from 8 to 10 inches.
The fur on these types of bats In South Carolina ranges from brown to black, with some individuals having lighter spots on their backs.
There are many types of bats in South Carolina, but the Indiana Bat is one of them, and they have a darker hair color with lighter spots on their backs.
They also range in size from two to three inches, weighing between three-fourths to an ounce, and have an eight-inch wing span.
11. Mexican Free-tailed Bat
The Mexican free-tailed bat is the most commonly seen type of bat in South Carolina. However, they are mostly found in Central and North America, as well as all over Europe and Africa.
The Mexican Free-tailed Bat has a wingspan of about five inches and weighs about an ounce.
It can be identified by its long, black body with a white stripe on its back, called the uropatagium. These types of bats In South Carolina specie eat beetles, moths, flies, mosquitoes, bees, termites, and wasps.
They have been known to eat their weight in food every night! The Mexican Free-tailed Bat also has excellent hearing and vision to track down their prey.
12. Seminole Bat
The Seminole bat is the only native bat found in Florida, and they roost in trees or dense vegetation and are active during the day.
These types of bats In South Carolina mainly eat insects, which they catch using echolocation as they fly by emitting high-frequency calls and listening for the echoes. They will also eat small lizards and frogs, but their diet consists mainly of insects.
The Seminole bat is a relatively small species with an average weight of around 12 grams (0.4 ounces). Males are slightly larger than females, with a wingspan between four to six inches (ten to fifteen centimeters).
Females give birth to one pup per year in late summer or early fall after hibernation, usually in tree cavities or rock crevices near where they roosted during winter.
13. Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
As a result, these types of bats In South Carolina are believed to have never been seen by humans. However, this does not mean that they are not out there.
With the help of some new technology, we can now identify different bat species found in the United States. This is possible because each species has its unique voice and distinct DNA and echolocation patterns.
What’s more, humans can capture the sound and compare it to recordings from other bat species so that we can identify them with greater accuracy. For example, Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat was discovered in 1818, but nobody has ever seen one.
It was named after Constantine Rafinesque-Schmaltz, an American naturalist who had traveled extensively throughout America.
14. Southeastern Myotis
The southeastern myotis is the most common type of bat in South Carolina and can be found across the state. This small type of bat often weighs around two ounces.
They are usually brown or dark brown but have a lighter-colored stripe stretching from their forehead to the middle of their back.
These types of bats In South Carolina do not hibernate like other types, so you may also find them during the winter months.
One thing that sets this type apart from others is its extraordinary sense of hearing. If you see one hanging on a tree branch while the others nearby seem unfazed by your presence, it might be because this bat can hear your heartbeat up to 20 feet away!
Bats are common creatures that can be found in almost every corner of the world. They are fascinating but a little scary. People may get scared and want to know more about them.
As the world’s only flying mammal, it is no wonder why the types of bats In South Carolina are intriguing and often misunderstood.