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Northern Yellow Bat

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lasiurus intermedius

Classification: Mammal, Order Chiroptera

Diet: They are known to feed in groups after the young begin to fly, and they prefer to feed in open areas. Hoppers, damselflies, flies, beetles, and winged ants are some of the insects northern yellow bats feed on.

Distribution: The northern yellow bat is closely tied to the range of Spanish moss and is essentially restricted to the southern Atlantic seaboard. This species tends to favor oak and long-leaf pine stands that support large clumps of Spanish moss. Typically, the sites are close to water and open areas where these bats feed. The northern yellow bat is not associated with caves or human structures like several of the other bats found in Virginia. There is only one record of the northern yellow bat in Virginia; a pregnant female was found in the tidewater area in 1954.

Identifying Characteristics

The northern yellow bat is a large tree bat with soft yellow-orange to yellow-brown fur. The tail membrane is only furred on the basal half and, unlike the other Lasiurus bats, the northern yellow bat lacks the white shoulder and wrist patches. The northern yellow bat weighs from 0.5–0.7 ounces and measures 4.6–5.1 inches in length.

Maternity

Like other tree bats, the northern yellow bat has two to four young born in late May to early June. Mating probably occurs in the fall and winter. The northern yellow bat is typically a solitary species, but females sometimes form small maternity colonies.

Conservation

Occurs only incidentally in Virginia.

Last updated: October 15, 2020

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