Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans)

Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans)

Appearance

The Long-legged Myotis is one of the largest Myotis species in British Columbia measuring between 83-105 mm in total length and weighing between 5-10 g. Its fur colour varies from reddish brown to nearly black. The hair on its belly extends to the undersides of the wing membranes as far as the knees and elbows. The ears are rounded and barely reach the nose when pushed forward; the tragus is long and narrow. A prominent keel is present on the calcar. The skull is characterized by a relatively broad interorbital region and a steep forehead with a highly elevated brain-case.

Natural History

In the western United States this bat uses buildings, crevices in rock cliffs, fissures in the ground and the bark of trees for summer day roosts and maternity colonies. Only two maternity colonies have been found in British Columbia. One was a small colony in the attic of a house on Vancouver Island; the other was a large colony of some 300 individuals that was situated in an old barn near Williams Lake. Caves and abandoned mine tunnels are exploited for night roosts. The Long-legged Myotis emerges around dusk and remains active most of the night; even on cool nights as it is relatively tolerant of cold temperatures. This bat is an opportunistic hunter that takes aerial prey over water, forest clearings, among trees and above the forest canopy.

 

Range:  The Long-legged Myotis inhabits western North America from Mexico to southeastern Alaska and western Canada. In coastal British Columbia, it is found on Vancouver Island and the coastal mainland around Vancouver. In the interior, there are records as far north as the Kispiox Valley and Atlin; the eastern limits of the British Columbia range are Cranbrook and Mount Revelstoke National Park.

Habitat: In British Columbia, the Long-legged Myotis inhabits arid range lands of the interior and humid coastal and montane forests. It ranges from sea level on the coast to 1037 m elevation in Mount Revelstoke National Park.

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