© 1999 Paul Berquist
The Pallid bat (Antrozous pallidus) has yellowish brown to cream colored fur on its back and white fur on its belly. What is most noticeable about this bat are its large ears. The ears are almost half as long as the total length of its head and body. Also, its eyes are larger than most species of North American bats.
The pallid bat is can be found found in arid regions with rocky outcroppings, to open, sparsely vegetated grasslands. Water must be available close by to all sites. They typically will use three different types of roosts. A day roost which can be a warm, horizontal opening such as in attics, shutters or crevices; the night roost is in the open, but with foliage nearby; and the hibernation roost mentioned above, which is often in buildings, caves, or cracks in rocks.
They occur in arid and semi-arid regions across much of the American west, up and down the coast from Canada and Mexico. A few isolated colonies have been found in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.
Throughout it's range the pallid bat is considered a common species. There is some concern for this and all bats as they are sensitive to human encroachment. Human disturbance of roosting areas and pesticide use are of increasing concern.
Pallid bats will eat a variety of prey items. These can include crickets, scorpions, centipedes, ground beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, praying mantis and long-horned beetles. They have been known to eat lizards and rodents. What is unique to the pallid bat is that it catches its food almost exclusively on the ground as opposed to while in flight. After catching its prey it will fly to a convenient location to consume its meal.
Because they capture their prey on the ground they are susceptible to predators on the ground. These can include cats, fox, racoon, snakes, coyotes and frogs. Owls also prey upon them while in flight.
The pallid bat may live as many as10 years in the wild.
Pallid bats weigh 0.7-1.2 oz (20-35g) and have a wingspan of 15-16 in (37-41 cm).
A pallid bat can eat half of its body weight in one night. Imagine people doing that!
Because they have such large ears they are able to detect the sound of their prey's footsteps on the ground.
While on the ground they exhibit a variety of gaits and strides.