Long-legged Myotis (Myotis volans)
- Protection Status Notes
- The long-legged myotis is a former category 2 candidate species. In Texas it is apparently a relatively rare species and nothing is known about population trends.
- Myotis volans is recognized by its short rounded ears, small hind feet, long tibia, distinctly keeled calcar, and long, dense fur on the underside of the wing membrane that extends from the body to a line joining the elbow and the knees. Although some variation in color exists, it is typically dark brown.
- Life History
- In Texas, the Long-legged Myotis is apparently a relatively rare species, known primarily from the Trans Pecos. Females give birth from May through August, and these bats have been known to live at least 21 years in the wild.
This species uses abandoned buildings, cracks in the ground, cliff crevices, exfoliating tree bark, and hollows within snags as summer day roosts. They hibernate in caves and mine tunnels.
Long-legged Myotis are active throughout the night, but peak activity is 3-4 hours after sunset. They are rapid, direct fliers, often traveling some distance while foraging. They feed in and around the forest canopy, primarily on moths and other soft-bodied insects.
- Habitat of the Long-legged Myotis is primarily coniferous forests, but the species also occurs seasonally in riparian and desert habitats.
- M. volans ranges across western North America from southeastern Alaska, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada to Baja California and central Mexico. It occurs throughout the western United States from the Pacific coast to the Great Plains and the Trans-Pecos area of Texas.
- Threats and Reasons for Decline
- Long-legged myotis may be affected by closure of abandoned mines without adequate surveys and certain forest‑management practices. Residues of DDT and its metabolites have been found in this species in Oregon.
- Ongoing Recovery
- Known colonies in buildings, trees, and cliffs should be protected from disturbance. Bat-friendly gates can prevent human disturbance of hibernation sites in caves and mines. Mountainous forests in the Trans Pecos should be managed for old trees and snags, which can serve as day roosts.
- No information is known on population trends and use and acceptance of bat gates. More information is needed on roosting and foraging requirements.
Refer to the online version of The Mammals of Texas for additional details on the Long-legged Myotis.