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The evening bat (Nycticeius humeralis) is a species of bat in the vesper bat family, Vespertilionidae, that is native to North America. It is a small bat (7–15 grams) found throughout much of the midwestern and eastern United States as well as northeastern Mexico. In many areas (especially the Gulf Coast states) they are very common, but they may be declining in some states. During the summer, they commonly roost in tree cavities but is also found occasionally in man-made structures. Colonies are generally small in trees, but groups can reach nearly 1,000 individuals, especially in buildings. Evening bats feed heavily on beetles (Coleoptera), but they also eat moths (Lepidoptera) and to a lesser extent flies (Diptera) and other insects.
The reproductive pattern of this species is virtually unknown, but in other temperate zone Vespertilionid species, breeding occurs in fall and sperm is stored in the female reproductive tract until spring when ovulation and fertilization occurs. Two young are born in June and are capable of foraging on their own three weeks after birth.
The evening bat is generally thought to be migratory, but recent work suggests that some individuals may be non-migratory, even near the northern edge of their range. During winter, individuals continue to roost in tree cavities or buildings, and they may forage on warm days.
In July 2016, the evening bat was discovered living in Minnesota, the first time in more than 100 years a new bat species was identified in that state.
- Arroyo-Cabrales, J. & Ticul Alvarez Castaneda, S. (2008). "Nycticeius humeralis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- Simmons, N.B. (2005). "Order Chiroptera". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 312–529. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Covington, H. (August 1, 2016). "New bat species wings its way into Minnesota". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
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