List of bats of the United States

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All bat species in the United States are insectivorous except for three nectar-eating species that migrate from Mexico and one fruit-eating species that inhabits the Florida Keys.


A big brown bat, eating a mealworm
Big brown bat
The image depicts an Indiana bat
Indiana bat
The image depicts a Mexican long-nosed bat
Mexican long-nosed bat
A hand holds a little brown bat
Little brown bat

Bats belong to the biological order of Chiroptera. The bat families found in North America are Vespertilionidae, Molossidae, Mormoopidae and Phyllostomidae.





Notable bat roosts[edit]

In 2009 the Grandview Mine in the Grand Canyon National Park had gates added to support on-going bat research, preserve historic mine resources, and promote visitor safety.

The Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, which crosses over Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, is the world's largest urban bat colony.

Seventeen species of bats live in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, including a large number of Mexican free-tailed bats.[1] It has been estimated that the population of Mexican free-tailed bats once numbered in the millions but has declined drastically in modern times. The cause of this decline is unknown but the pesticide DDT is often listed as a primary cause.

State insignia[edit]

As of February 2011, at least three states had an official bat. Hawai'i named the Hawaiian hoary bat as the official state land mammal in April 2015.[2] The general assembly of North Carolina considered a bill in 2007 that would have made Rafinesque's big-eared bat as its state bat. The bill passed 92-15, but died in the state senate.[3] In 2020, the big brown bat was designated the official state mammal of the District of Columbia.[4] In 2023, a successful campaign was launched to make the pallid bat the state bat of California.[5] The bill passed both houses unanimously and will take effect on January 1, 2024.[6]

State State bat Scientific name Image Year adopted
Oklahoma Mexican free-tailed bat Tadarida brasiliensis Closeup of Mexican free-tailed bat 2006[7]
Texas 1995[8]
Virginia Virginia big-eared bat Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus a large bat with mouth open, and wings unfurled, lit up against a black background 2005[9]
California Pallid bat Antrozous pallidus 2024[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Carlsbad Caverns National Park: Bats". National Park Service. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  2. ^ "Hawaiian Hoary Bat Named Official State Land Mammal – Caving News". Caving News. April 23, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "House Bill 1683 Official State Bat (2007-2008 session)". North Carolina General Assembly. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "§ 1–167.31. Official state mammal of the District of Columbia". Council of the District of Columbia. December 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Bluth, Rachel (August 16, 2023). "In a coup for the dark and damp, bats and mushrooms get their moment in Sacramento". POLITICO. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Bill History - SB-732 Bats". Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  7. ^ "Senate Selects Bat as State's Flying Mammal". Oklahoma State Senate: Communications Division. March 8, 2006. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  8. ^ "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 95, 74th Legislature, Regular Session (1995)". Texas State Legislature. 1995. Retrieved August 18, 2011.
  9. ^ "HB 2579 Bat, big-eared; designating as official emblem of State". Virginia State Legislature. March 31, 2005. Retrieved August 18, 2011.

External links[edit]

"The Art and Science of Bats". Smithsonian Institution.