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Key to Bats of Central California

 

1.  Fur uniformly black, and many of the hairs are distinctly silver-tipped, especially on dorsal    (back) surface...........................Lasionycteris noctivagans – Silver haired Bat

1a. Not as above; fur variously colored..................................................................2

2.  Tail extending conspicuously (more than 30 mm) beyond edge of interfemoral membrane     (membrage stretching between tail and hindlegs) .................................................3

2a. No extension of tail beyond edge of interfemoral membrane.....................................4.

3.  Forearm more than 70 mm. ..................Eumops perotis – Western Mastiff Bat

3a. Forearm less than 55 mm. .......Tadarida brasiliensis – Mexican Free-tailed Bat

4.  Ears more than 20 mm in height from notch to crown ….…....................................5

4a. Ears less than 20 mm in height from notch to crown .............................….............6

5.  Ears widely separated; hair yellow next to skin, forearm (radius) more than 46 mm          .......................................................Antrozous pallidus – Pallid Bat

5a. Ears close together at anterior base; hair plumbeous (blackish gray) next to skin: Forearm less    than 46 mm. ........................Plecotus townsendi –Townsend's Big-Eared Bat

6.  Upper surface of interfemoral membrane bare, or if slightly furred, hairs of back not tipped with    white....................................................................................................9

6a. Upper surface of interfemoral membrane densely furred………………………............ 8

8.  Forearm more than 45 mm, silver-tips on some hairs...Lasiurus cinereus – Hoary Bat

8a. Forearm less than 45mm, brick red fur....................Lasiurus blossvillii – Red Bat

9.  First visible tooth behind upper canine about 1/2 as high as the canine and in contact with it at    base (see diagram-link at right)......................................................................10

9a. First visible tooth behind the upper canine less than 1/3 as high as canine, or if 1/2 as high,     then separated from the canine by a noticeable gap..............................................11

10.  Forearm more than 40 mm, tragus pointed, .......Eptesicus fuscus – Big Brown Bat

10a. Forearm less than 40 mm, tragus < 5 mm, blunt and club-shaped:                 ................................Pipistrellis hesperus – Western Pipistrelle

11.  Dorsal surface of interfemoral membrane only furred on anterior half, foot <8 mm, dorsal fur      glossy, wings and tail membrane black.. Myotis ciliolabrum - Small Footed-Myotis

11a  Dorsal anterior surface of interfemoral membrane without dense fur, foot > 8.5 mm .....12

12.  Ear when genly laid forward extending > 2 mm beyond tip of nose; ear more than 16 mm     from notch to tip.....................................................................................13

12a. Ear when gently laid forward, extends < 2 mm beyond tip of nose; ear less than 16 mm...14

13.  With a conspicuous (to naked eye) fring of hairs on posterior edge of the interfemoral     membrane .......................................... Myotis thysanodes – Fringed Myotis

13a. Without a conspicuous fringe of hairs on edge of interfemoral membrane, Ears pitch black,      opaque, ears 20-25 mm..............................Myotis evotis - Long-eared Myotis

14a. Calcar (spur from heel lying on edge of interfemoral membrane) with definite keel ..….16

14.  Calcar without keel................................................................................15

15.  Skull < 14 mm, total length, fur not brassy-glossy.Myotis yumanensis - Yuma Myotis

15a. Skull > 14 mm, fur usually brassy-glossy......Myotis lucifugus – Little Brown Bat

16.  Forearm 37 mm or more. .........................Myotis volans – Long-legged Myotis

16a. Forearm 35 mm or less.........................Myotis californicus – California Myotis

Some definitions of terms...and links to pictures and drawings that might help.

Notch in ear = base of tragus (see below).

Forearm: longest bone in arm, with hook-like thumb at one end.

Total length = from nose tip to tail tip.

Tragus = projection surrounded by external ear flap, often stiffened with cartilage. Ours is a little blunt one, in front, center of ear, forming front of entrance to ear canal.

 

 

 

Click here to see diagram of gap behind canine.

 

 

 

Click here to see "club" shape of tragus.

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to see diagram of fringe on M. thysanodes.

 

Click here to see diagram of keel and calcar on tail of these bats.