Facts About Megabats and Microbats

Did you know there are two main species of bats in the world? It’s true! All bats can be put into one of two categories: Microchiroptera or Megachiroptera. These are colloquially known as “megabats” and “microbats.” Continue reading to learn the main differences and distinctions between them, including their appearance, diet, habitat, and more!

Virginia Bat Removal Service Company 804-729-9097
Virginia Bat Removal Service Company 804-729-9097

Microchiroptera Vs. Megachiroptera Bats

Microbats

The above image are two Brown Long-Eared Bats, which is a type of microbat species. Microchiroptera, or microbats, are small in size and have large ears. Most range between 3 and 16 inches in length, and many are small enough to fit through a gap as tiny as 3/8th of an inch. They are echolocating mammals, meaning they use a built-in, biological sonar system, which emits ultrasonic sounds that bounce of nearby objects and return to the bat. Micros are not blind, but echolocation helps them dart and dive for prey more accurately at night.

As for diet, micros primarily eat insects; but some larger species eat small fish, rodents, birds, and amphibians. Three particular species consumes the blood of other animals, mainly livestock and birds. These include Common Vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus), hairy-legged vampire bats (Diphylla ecaudata), and white-winged vampire bats. But do not worry; they do not drink human blood!

When it comes to habitat, microbats live in moderate climates, and typically roost in hollowed trees, abandoned mines, caves, and even in residential and commercial buildings (especially attics!). 

Megabats

Gray-Headed Flying Fox Bat
The Gray-Headed Flying Fox Bat is a Megabat!

Megachiroptera are much larger in size, and are also known as “Flying Foxes”, “Fruit Bats”, and “Old World Fruit Bats.” This is mainly due to their frugivorous and nectarivorous diets, which mainly consists of fruit, nectar, and pollen. Some species are known to eat some insects, but their diet primarily consists of the nectar and pollen of fruit and flowers. Because of this, this suborder of bats do not use nor retain echolocating abilities. They do, however, have a keen sense of smell that helps them locate food sources, as well as, adapted teeth that are strong enough to bite through fruit rinds.

As for appearance, it is easy to differentiate a mega from a micro. Not only do fruit bats have large eyes and visual cortexes, they also lack a tail. However, Microbats lack the claw at the second finger of the forelimb that megabats do have. Megabats live in hot, tropical, and subtropical regions of the world. You are not likely to see wild fruit bats living in the forests of the U.S. Midwest. They prefer hot, humid, damp environments, such as rain forests and shorelines, and they generally make their roost in trees, shrubs, and caves.

Do you need to get rid of bats in the attic or around your house? Contact Virginia Bat Pros at 804-729-9097 for prompt and professional bat removal and control services in Virginia, including Alexandria, Chesapeake, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Norfolk, and all surrounding areas.

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

The Difference Between the Big Brown Bat and Little Brown Bat

Although they may look a lot alike, and they are both part of the Vespertilionidae family, the Big Brown bat and the Little Brown bat are two completely separate species in a different genus. When you scroll down the scientific classification of both species, they have the same Kingdom (Animalia), Phylum (Chordata), Class (Mammalia), Order (Chiroptera), and even Family (Vespertilionidae). But once you reach the genus, they separate.

Continue reading to learn where and some facts that make them unique in their own right!

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Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

The Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

The Big Brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) is part of the Eptesicus genus and fucus species. Adults have an average wingspan of 13 to 16 inches, and a body length of 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches. They are a little bigger as you can see! The rest of their biology and behaviors are the same, with just slight differences.

Their fur is the same as Little Brown bats, ranging in colors from dark browns to reddish hues and lighter-colored bellies. Gestation periods and breeding are the same for both species, as well. Females carry their young for 60 days, before giving birth to a single bat pup each year.

Mating season usually begins in early fall, while birthing season starts in May and continues through June. After 14 days in their mother’s care, bat pups are weaned from milk and taught to fly and hunt for insects. In contrast to Little Brown bats, Big Brown bats tend to roost in smaller colonies, ranging from as little as 20 bats, up to 500 or more.

The Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)

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Little Brown Bat – Myotis lucifugus

Little Brown bats are part of the Myotis genus and lucifugus species. Adults have an average wingspan of 9 to 11 inches, and a body length of 2 1/2 to 4 inches. They are small! Their fur ranges in colors of dark browns to reddish browns, with lighter-colored, pale tan bellies. Females carry their young for 60 days, before giving birth to a single bat pup each year.

Mating season usually begins in early fall, while birthing season starts in May and continues through July. After 14 days in their mother’s care, bat pups are weaned from milk and taught to fly and hunt for insects. Little Brown bats, like all bats, are nocturnal, which means they are active from dusk until dawn. Generally, this bat species remains in large numbers, with colonies reaching hundreds or even thousands of bats in some regions.

Typically, Little Brown bats roost in hollowed tree cavities, abandoned mines, caves, log piles, and similar private areas. They are a hibernating species, so in winter, they either migrate to winter roosts, or hibernate in caves, rock crevices, storm sewers, and if they can access them, our attics! As insectivores, Little Brown bats hunt for mosquitoes, gnats, moths, crane flies, beetles, mayflies, and other small flying insects. A single bat can consume more than 1,000 flying bugs in just one night!

Where to Get Humane Virginia Bat Control Near You

Call Virginia Bat Pros at 804-729-9097 when you need prompt and professional Virginia bat removal and control you can afford. We use safe and humane methods to deliver effective 24 hour bat control for residential and commercial properties throughout Virginia. We serve all of Virginia, including Richmond, Petersburg, Short Pump, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Newport News, Virginia Beach, and all of their surrounding areas.