Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Myotis sodalis

Indiana Bat

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae

Image of Myotis sodalis
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Conservation Status: Endangered.

Indiana bats hibernate in caves in extraordinarily dense clusters. Thousands hang by their toes from the ceiling, so tightly packed that 300-450 squeeze into one square foot of space. From below, only their ears, noses, mouths, and wrists can be seen. When they arrive at the caves in the fall, they spend two or three weeks swarming in and out of the cave entrances all night long, presumably finding mates and foraging to accumulate enough fat to see them through hibernation. Only a few nursery colonies have been found. One was located under the loose bark of a dead tree. Indiana bats and little brown bats look almost identical, and the most reliable way to distinguish them (should it come to that) is to examine their toes. Indiana bats have only 1-3 hairs per toe, and they extend only to the base of the toenail. Little brown bats have 5-7 hairs that extend to the end of the toenail or beyond.

Also known as:
Social Bat, Social Myotis, Indiana Myotis

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 86.3 mm
Range: 73-99 mm

Average: 6.4 g
Range: 3.5-10 g


Miller, G.S., Jr. and G.M. Allen, 1928.  The American bats of the genera Myotis and Pizonyx, p. 130.  Bulletin of the U.S. National Museum, 144:130-135.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Myotis sodalis

Image of Myotis sodalis
Click to enlarge. (81kb)