| Seminole bats, sometimes called mahogany bats, can be mistaken for red bats where the two species overlap (the red bat has a much larger range). The two are similar in color, size, and appearance. Both have broad, rounded ears and long, pointed wings. The traditional - and still important - way to determine an animal's species when external features are so similar is to dissect it: in this case, a scientist would compare a feature of the skull called the lacrimal shelf to make a positive identification of the species. New tools that are proving useful include DNA analysis (a DNA sample can be taken from a live bat), and bat detectors. Bat detectors are electronic instruments that pick up bats' ultrasonic echolocation calls. They are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can sometimes be used to distinguish one bat species' calls from another's. Seminole bats begin foraging for flies, beetles, and other flying prey in early evening, sometimes feeding on insects that have been attracted to street lights. They occasionally swoop down to the ground to snap up a cricket. Like northern yellow bats, Seminole bats often roost in Spanish moss. The commercial collecting of Spanish moss may, in places, threaten the survival of this species.
Also known as:
97.7 mm males; 103.5 mm females
Rhoads, S.N., 1895. Description of new mammals from Florida and southern California. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 47:32-47.
Mammal Species of the World
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account
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