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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Chiroptera · Vespertilionidae · Myotis californicus

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Myotis californicus

California Myotis

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae

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Credit: New Mexico Bat Call Library, W. L. Gannon
Image of Myotis californicus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

California myotis are found in deserts and arid basins. They drink at small waterholes, and when they forage, they fly low and slow over water and other open areas, and at forest edges. Many California myotis are active in winter, but some that live at higher elevations or farther north hibernate. Mating usually occurs in the fall, and sperm is stored in the female's uterus until spring, when ovulation and fertilization occur. A single pup is born in June or July, when food is plentiful. The young develop rapidly and can fly in about a month.

Also known as:

California Bat

Sexual Dimorphism:

Females are larger than males.


Range: 70-94 mm


Range: 3.3-5.4 g


Audubon, J. J., and J. Bachman, 1842.  Descriptions of new species of quadrupeds inhabiting North America, p. 285.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, series 1, 8:280-323.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account * (opens in a new window).
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Distribution of Myotis californicus

Image of Myotis californicus
Click to enlarge. (129kb)

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