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eastern red bat

(Lasiurus borealis borealis)


This species is medium sized with a total length of 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 inches long, and is bright red to rusty, with long, silky fur. This is one of a few bats with contrasting color sexes. The female is dull buffy chestnut with much frosting. The male is almost orange-red. There are 1-5 young per litter, that are born in late May to early June. This species is solitary except sometimes during migration and foraging. It roosts 4-10 feet above the ground, and roost sites are used by different individuals on different days. They forage over a regular territory (approximately 100 yards) nightly, and may forage 600-1000 yards from their day roosts. They migrate south from September to late November.


The red bat is common throughout the state of Virginia. They are highly migratory, and migrate southward in autumn, but migration patterns and magnitude are unknown. This is a tree dwelling species that lives mostly in dense foliage, tree hollows, under loose bark of dead trees and rarely in caves.


They feed among trees in the forest, around lights in towns and on the sides of barns. They take both hard and soft insects. During the winter they feed heavily on flying insects, including beetles, cicadas, flies and crickets.