Fascinating Facts About the Greater Mastiff Bat

There are two primary orders of bats in the world: Microchiroptera and Megachiroptera. Megachiroptera bat species are mostly native to tropical regions of the world. They are large in size, have large visual cortexes, and feed on nectar and pollen of fruits and flowers. In fact, they are casually referred to as “Fruit bats” for this reason. Some are even called “Flying Foxes” due to their large heads and bodies.

In contrast to the large fruit bats of the world, Microchiroptera bats, or microbats, are much smaller, and retain a separate set of unique attributes. The most noticeable difference between megabats and microbats is size, but that does not mean there cannot be large microbats too.

Continue reading to learn some interesting facts about the largest Microchiroptera bat species in the United States!

Bat Trappers Richmond VA 804-729-9097
Bat Trappers Richmond VA 804-729-9097

Introducing the Greater Mastiff Bat (Eumops perotis)

The Greater Mastiff Bat goes by many names, scientifically Eumops perotis, but informally, it is also known as the Western Mastiff Bat, the Western Bonneted Bat, and the Greater Bonneted Bat. Greater Mastiff Bats are part of the Free-Tailed bat family, which includes well-known species like the Mexican Free-Tailed Bat, Northern Free-Tailed Bat, and the Spotted Free-Tailed Bat.

What They Look Like

The greater mastiff bat is the largest microbat species native to North America. Perhaps this is why their name reflects one of the larges canine species! Their average body size is between 5 and 8 inches in length. Furthermore, they have an impressive wingspan compared to other species of microbats, averaging between 20 and 22 inches.

As for overall mass, Greater Mastiff bats generally weigh between 2 and 3 ounces; although this sounds tiny, they are still larger than most other Microchiroptera species. Greater mastiff bats are most distinguishable by their large ears, which are so long, they extend out past their nose! Their fur is short and close to their bodies and appears in an array of gray and brown shades on their backs, with lighter shades of fur on their bellies.

Where They Live

Here in Michigan, you will not likely find a Greater Mastiff bat in your attic or flying around your property. That is because their natural range is in the Western parts of the United States, as well as Mexico and South America. They prefer the desert regions, especially along the border of Mexico, and even as far north as the Pacific coast of Alameda County, California.

Because the Greater Mastiff bat species are so large, they require more space and time to drop from their roosts and take flight. For this reason, they are often found roosting high up in rock fissures on the sides of cliffs. In fact, it was discovered that they require at least 20 feet of vertical drop in order to secure enough speed for flight. This means that if they become grounded, they must climb high enough to take a drop and fly away.

More Interesting Facts About the Biggest Microbat in the U.S.

No Time for Rest

Aside from being the largest species of Microbat that is native to North America, there are plenty more interesting facts about the Greater Mastiff bat. For instance, they do not migrate nor hibernate. Instead, they remain active all year long. This could be due to the comfortable seasonal climates the Western regions have to offer.

Threatened and Endangered

Because the Greater Mastiff bat is no longer found in the same numbers as they used to be in previously occupied regions, they are on federal special status. Although federally, they are considered a species of least concern, the Bat Conservation International still lists them as Threatened and Endangered.

Unique Mating

In contrast to other microbat species, males retain a skin glad that enlarges during mating season in the spring. This dermal gland produces a strong odor that researchers believe is meant to attract female bats. Females give birth to one single bat pup a year, and they can live between 10 and 15 years in the wild.

Are you experiencing heighted bat activity around your house or business? If so, you would be wise to establish an effective bat abatement plan to keep them from damaging or threatening your property. Contact Virginia Bat Pros at 804-729-9097 for safe and humane bat removal and control in Richmond, Virginia and its surrounding counties. We serve both residential and commercial clients.

Related Posts:

The Differences Between Megabats and Microbats
Which Bats are Native to the State of Virginia?
The Difference Between a Wild Bat and a Nuisance Bat

A Species Comparison of Social Bats Versus Solitary Bats

Here in Virginia, there are around 16 species of bat found around our local ranges. Common species include the Gray bat, Indiana bat, Hoary bat, Silver-Haired bat, Red bat, and of course, the Virginia Big-Eared bat. All Virginia bat species, and more, can be classified as either social or solitary. But their classification largely depends on their natural behaviors.

Continue reading to learn the difference between social and solitary bats, including which local bat species fit into each category.

Virginia Bat Removal and Control
Virginia Bat Removal and Control 804-729-9097

Solitary Bats

Solitary bats are just that: bats that keep to themselves. They do not settle and roost in colonies. Instead, they live alone and migrate south to warmer areas for the winter. Some species, however, are known to hibernate for the winter, rather than migrate. Generally, solitary bats take up shelter in trees along riverbeds, or in rock crevices. Common species of solitary bats here in Virginia include the Hoary bat, Red Bat, and Silver-Haired bat.

Solitary Bat Species:

➞ Silver-Haired Bat
➞ Red Bat
➞ Hoary Bat

Social Bats

Social bats are the exact opposite of solitary bats. They are colonists, meaning they take up shelter as groups, and hibernate in their chose shelter for the winter. Most often, social bats are found roosting in hollowed trees, abandoned mines, buildings, and even residential settings, like attics and wall voids. Common species of social bats include the Little Brown bat, Big Brown bat, Tri-Colored bat (formally known as Pipistrelle), Evening bat, Indiana bat, and Northern Long-Eared bat. Of these species, the Indiana and Evening bat are listed as endangered.

Social Bat Species:

➞ Indiana Bat
➞ Northern Long-Eared Bat
➞ Gray Bat
➞ Southeastern Bat

Social bats that are not typically found in Virginia: The Little Brown Bat, Big Brown Bat, Tri-Colored Bat (Pipistrelles), and Evening Bat.

Putting Up With Nuisance Bat Problems in Virginia?

Call Virginia Bat Pros at 804-729-9097 for safe and humane bat removal and control assistance in Old Dominion. We serve all of Virginia and its surrounding areas. We offer 24 hour bat removal, as well as, numerous residential and commercial bat exclusion services, such as bat cleanup and restorations for bat damages. We even provide insurance work! Contact us today for a free estimate.