Seminole bat by James Kiser
Description: A medium-sized bat, the Seminole bat typically attains a length nearly 4½ inches, with a wingspan of about 12 inches. This species is very similar to the red bat in appearance, but the color of the fur typically is a rich, mahogany brown, tipped with white. Like other members of this genus, the tail membrane is completely covered in fur.
Range: This species is found in the southeastern United States from south-central Virginia, central North Carolina, northern Georgia, southeastern Tennessee, northern Mississippi, central Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Vagrants have been reported from south-central New York, eastern Pennsylvania, central West Virginia, south-central Kentucky, and south Texas.
Kentucky Occurrence Summary: Beginning with the first documented record in 1998, there are less than two dozen records of this southern bat from Kentucky. During the maternity season, reproductive females and/or juveniles have been found in the western part of the state, mostly in Land Between the Lakes, and in the Mammoth Cave area. These observations suggest the bat’s range is potentially expanding. No winter occurrences have been documented for the state.
Distribution in Kentucky: See map
Habitat and Life History: A common forest bat of the southeastern states, the Seminole bat roosts in pine trees, beneath clusters of leaves in deciduous trees, beneath loose bark, and in clumps of Spanish moss. As a tree bat, they usually roost solitarily with the exception of a female and her young. During late May to early June, females give birth to as many as four pups. Occurring as far south as they do, these bats may be active year-round, foraging on a variety of flying insects. They generally forage in and around tree canopies, occasionally foraging low enough to capture crickets. They also forage along waterways and over clearings.
All photos below by James Kiser