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Northern Long eared bat

Fact File

Scientific Name: Myotis septentrionalis septentrionalis

Classification: Mammalia, Order Chiroptera, Family Vespertilionidae

Size: 3 inches long

Life Span: 19 years

Identifying Characteristics

This is a medium sized bat which has large ears and are a dull yellow-brown color with a pale grey belly and some dappling of darker brown spots along their shoulders and upper back.


The northern long eared bat also known as the northern myotis is found in forested regions throughout the United States. As a species it is most prominent in boreal forests filled with cedar and hemlock where they roost under the loose bark. During the winter these bats can be seen hibernating within caves and mines.


They emerge after sunset to forage on hillsides and ridges on small insects especially flies. Typically this species chooses to hunt near ponds and forest clearing often 1-3 meters from the tree’s edge, during the night they hunt continuously with small resting periods and a higher period of activity at dawn and dusk.


This species inhabits forested regions, and will forage mainly on hillsides, and ridge forests rather than riparian and flood-plain forests. They frequent areas under the forest canopy just above shrub level. It is unknown in hardwood forests in general.


This bat species has been negatively impacted by timber harvesting as well as the use of insecticides which lessen their available food. They as a species have faced some challenges with disruption of their hibernation sites by avid cavers. But currently they are most at risk due to the emergent fungal disease known as “white-nose syndrome” which has devastated North American cave dwelling bat populations for the last several years causing as high as a 90% mortality rate in infected populations.


Ollendorff, J. 2002. “Myotis septentrionalis” (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed August 16, 2023 at

Updated 2023: Mara Snyder

Last updated: August 18, 2023

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