Little Brown Bat Richmond VA
The Richmond Virginia little brown bat is a small mammal with a body length of 3 to 3 1/2;” and weighs in at 1/8 to 1/2 an ounce. The wingspan of little brown bats range from 6″ to 8″ and they can live 20 to 30 years. Bats are the only mammals that engage in truly active flight. As their name suggests, they are glossy brown above with a light buff color below.
The Little Brown Bat is found from Labrador west to central Alaska and south to the Appalachians in Georgia and Arkansas, located in most states except Florida, Texas and southern California. Found abundantly throughout New Hampshire. Here in Richmond Virginia the brown bat is most commonly found in residential attic areas.
Little brown bats are insectivorous, eating a variety of insects including some agricultural pests. They can eat 50% of their own body weight each and every humid Virginia evening. During gestation and lactation, they will eat even more insects. These nocturnal mammals use echolocation to navigate and locate prey.
Sexual maturity is reached in 6 to 9 months for females and a year for males and their breeding season is from September to October but the female stores the sperm for fertilization in the spring. The young are born from mid-June to early July. In Virginia, the little brown bats generally have one offspring per year, occasionally two. The young become self-supporting within a month.
Little brown bats feed primarily over wetlands and other still water where insects are abundant. They use our Virginia Rivers, streams, and trails as travel corridors to navigate across the landscape. Bats will occasionally swoop down close to mammals to indulge on the insects that swarm around them.
Our little brown bats seek cavities for shelter, roosting and brooding. In summer, females brood their young in dark, warm sites such as barns, attics, caves, hollow tree cavities and other protected areas. Little brown bat roost sites are highly variable and not well known.