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silver haired bat

(Lasionycteris noctivagans)


This is a medium-sized bat, about 3 3/4 to 4 5/8 inches long, with long, brownish-black silver-tipped fur which is its distinguishing characteristic. Mating probably occurs in autumn, and fertilization delayed until spring . Usually two young are born in late June to early July. They fly slowly and at heights of 20 feet or more in or near mixed or coniferous forest, adjacent to water. They are somewhat solitary bats though maternity colonies may be formed. The males and females spend fall and winter in the same southern areas but in the spring the females migrate further north than the males. They roost mainly in abandoned woodpecker holes or under loose bark and are only occasionally found in caves. Life expectancy can be up to 12 years.


The silver-haired bat is found through out the entire state of Virginia, as well as, throughout the United States. It will frequently occur around streams, rivers and woodland ponds with tree crevices being the most common shelter/roosts.


Beetles are the principal food but moths seemed to be the main food throughout the winter in the Dismal Swamp.