Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)

The Brazilian free-tailed bat, also known as the Mexican free-tailed bat, is found to live throughout much of the United States (from southern Oregon and Nevada to Virginia and North Carolina), Mexico, Central, and South America. They are a social bat species that live in huge colonies that can number in the millions. They roost in a wide range of different sites such as caves with high ceilings, tree hollows, and man-made structures like abandoned barns and bridges.

Color and Size

Brazilian free-tailed bats are considered to be a medium-sized bat that has brown fur with a distinctive wrinkled upper lip. They have strong legs which makes them great at climbing the walls of their roosting sites. They range in size from 4 ½ to 5 ½ inches long (including the tail) have a wingspan of around 11 inches, and usually, weigh from 7 to 12 grams.

Diet and Behavior

Like most bat species, they are insectivores and these bats capture their prey while in flight. They forage on such things as wasps, bees, beetles, moths, and dragonflies. Their diet will vary depending on their home range and the insect species that are present. They are a migratory species that will travel south in order to reach their winter grounds.

They are a species that is active year-round and need to migrate to regions that provide the weather necessary for this activity. There are some populations of Brazilian free-tailed bats that do not migrate and it all depends on the area in which they summer.

This bat species mates in the springtime and the females then gather together to form maternity colonies. These colonies can vary in size from a few dozen to a few hundred individuals. They give birth to a single pup that becomes independent within 7 weeks from birth.