PALLID BAT
Antrozous pallidus
(Le Conte, 1856)


an-tre-zO-es pal-e-des


Kansas Species in Need of Conservation (SINC)


A group of Pallid Bats. Photo by Greg Lasley.

Description:
Pallid bats can be distinguished from all other bats in Kansas by its large ears, large eyes, and pale coloration. Corynorhinus townsendii also has large ears, but its ears are joined basally across the midline. 

Distribution:
The range of the pallid bat range northward from central Mexico through the Southwest and Pacific Coastal states into British Columbia, Canada. Kansas is at the northeastern limit of the range of the species. In Kansas, pallid bats are known only from Barber and Comanche counties in the Red (or Gypsum) Hills. At one time, a maternity colony was located in an old barn in the ghost town of Aetna (Barber County). That barn either blew down or was removed sometime after 1955. A colony of about 200 of these bats subsequently were burned out of a crevice near the entrance to May Cave (Barber County) by ranch hands. The few pallid bats that survived evidently continued to roost in a crevice below the former Natural Bridge until 1980. The species was not seen again in Kansas until 1991, when about a dozen were found hibernating in the same crevice. Since that time, no more than 15 of these bats have been found in the crevice at any one time (always in winter), and only 1 pallid bat has been netted (over Bear Creek, near the crevice). Thus, this bat has been all but extirpated from the state.
Antrozous pallidus has been found in Pleistocene deposits in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Cuba. The Cuban record is far from the current distribution of the species. 

(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
Open icons are questionable records; Click on a marker to view details.
  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 230 Total Records 
  • 228 Museum Vouchers 
  • 2 Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Barber (229); Comanche (1);

Natural History:
The pallid bat is a saxicolous species, which literally means they live in rocks. Typical roosts are cracks and crevices in rock walls, although they sometimes roost in caves and, especially in other parts of their range, in man-made structures. The flight of pallid bats is usually slow, with close-quarter maneuvering and hovering. They typically forage near the ground, where they glean large insects. Pallid bats emerge relatively late in the evening, forage, and then move to night roosts before foraging again prior to returning to their daytime roost before dawn.
Adults may attain the following dimensions: total length 115-135 mm; length of tail 40-53 mm; length of hind foot 12-16 mm; length of ear 26-31 mm; weight 16-22 grams.
As noted above, pallid bats are among the only bats that capture insects on the ground. They fly slowly, with much fluttering and hovering, and when prey is located, alight before attempting to capture it. They then carry their prey to a night roost, where they eat and rest. These roosts can be identified by the accumulation of unconsumed hard parts of terrestrial insects, such as Jerusalem crickets, grasshoppers, scarab beetles, ground beetles, and scorpions.
It appears that the greatest natural enemy of this species is man. Owls probably catch a few, and other predators that forage around roosts occasionally might catch 1.
The pallid bat is a saxicolous species, which literally means they live in rocks. Typical roosts are cracks and crevices in rock walls, although they sometimes roost in caves and, especially in other parts of their range, in man-made structures. The flight of pallid bats is usually slow, with close-quarter maneuvering and hovering. They typically forage near the ground, where they glean large insects. Pallid bats emerge relatively late in the evening, forage, and then move to night roosts before foraging again prior to returning to their daytime roost before dawn.
Adults may attain the following dimensions: total length 115-135 mm; length of tail 40-53 mm; length of hind foot 12-16 mm; length of ear 26-31 mm; weight 16-22 grams.
As noted above, pallid bats are among the only bats that capture insects on the ground. They fly slowly, with much fluttering and hovering, and when prey is located, alight before attempting to capture it. They then carry their prey to a night roost, where they eat and rest. These roosts can be identified by the accumulation of unconsumed hard parts of terrestrial insects, such as Jerusalem crickets, grasshoppers, scarab beetles, ground beetles, and scorpions.
It appears that the greatest natural enemy of this species is man. Owls probably catch a few, and other predators that forage around roosts occasionally might catch 1.
These bats mate in late autumn or early winter. Females store the sperm in their reproductive tract until ovulation occurs in the spring. Births occur in maternity colonies in May or June. yearling females give birth to just 1 young, whereas older females may have twins. Pups begin flying at 4 to 5 weeks of age, and normal flight occurs by the age of 42 days.

Occurrence Activity:
Remarks:
The small population of this species in Kansas is referable to the subspecies Antrozous pallidus bunkeri.

Bibliography:
1952 Cockrum, E. L. Mammals of Kansas. Univ. Kansas Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. 7:1-303. ():
1967 Jones, J. K. Jr., E. D. Fleharty, and P. B. Dunnigan The distributional status of bats in Kansas. Univ. Kansas Mus. Nat. Hist. Misc. Publ., 46:1-33. ():
1983 Hermanson, J. W., and T. J. O'Shea Antroxous pallidus Mammalian Species 213():1-8
1999 Wilson, D. E., and S. Ruff Smithsonian Institution Press, Washsington, DC. 1-750pp.
2000 Sparks, D. W., and J. R. Choate Distribution, natural history, conservation status, and biogeography of bats in Kansas Pages 173-228 in Reflections of a Naturalist: Papers Honoring Professor Eugene D. Fleharty Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS. pp.
2008 Timm, R. M., G. R. Pisani, J. R. Choate, N. A. Slade, G. A. Kaufman, and D. W. Kaufman http://www.ku.edu/~mammals, . pp.
Account Last Updated:
7/13/2017 10:14:28 AM


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