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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Chiroptera · Vespertilionidae · Myotis velifer

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Myotis velifer

Cave Myotis

Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae

Image of Myotis velifer
Myotis velifer - inset shows darker variation
Click to enlarge. (78 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The cave myotis, one of the larger myotis species, has a stubby-nosed appearance. The ears reach only to the end of the short nose when bent forward. Typical of North American bats, cave myotis feed on insects, especially moths and beetles. They breed seasonally, giving birth to a single offspring of about 3 g, or 25 percent or more the weight of the mother. The young are flying and foraging for insects when they are about a month old, but nurse for about six weeks. A nursing bat hangs upside down next to its mother, nestled in her wing, sometimes hanging onto the roost with one foot and its mother with the other; the female has a nipple under each arm, near her armpits.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Females have longer forearms than males.


Average: 56.7 mm
Range: 44.2-55 mm


Average: 12 g
Range: 9-14 g


Allen, J.A., 1890.  Notes on collections of mammals made in central and southern Mexico by Dr. Audley C. Buller, with descriptions of new species of the geners Vespertilio, Sciurus, and Lepus, p.177.   Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 3:175-194.


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Distribution of Myotis velifer

Image of Myotis velifer
Click to enlarge. (113kb)

Image of Myotis velifer
Click to enlarge. (167kb)

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