Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum)
- Protection Status Notes
- M. ciliolabrum is a former category 2 candidate species. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management list it with a special status. In west Texas, it is probably less common than its sister species, M. californicus, but nothing is known about population trends.
- Myotis ciliolabrum is a small bat with a keeled calcar, small feet, black ears, and a black mask across the eyes and nose. Pelage varies from brown to pale yellow. M. ciliolabrum differs from M. californicus, which is sympatric and similar in appearance, by having a longer, broader, and flatter skull with a gradual slope from cranium to rostrum; overall it is a more robust bat. However, these two species are often difficult to distinguish in the field.
- Life History
- Copulation takes place in the fall, with sperm being stored in females until spring when ovulation occurs. M. ciliolabrum produces one young per year in late spring or early summer. Individuals have been known to live up 12 years. Older literature refers to this species as M. subulatus and M. leibii.
Individuals are known to roost singly or in small groups in cliff and rock crevices, buildings, concrete overpasses, caves, and mines. They forage early in the evening, feeding on various small insects.
- M. ciliolabrum ranges across the western half of North America from British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan in Canada, throughout most of the United States west of the 100th Meridian, and into central Mexico.M. ciliolabrum occurs in deserts, chaparral, riparian zones, and western coniferous forest; it is most common above pinon‑juniper forest.
Found in Texas primarily to the Trans-Pecos region.
- Threats and Reasons for Decline
- Western small-footed myotis may be affected by closure of abandoned mines without adequate surveys and by recreational caving. Contaminant poisoning is a possibility.
- Ongoing Recovery
- Maternity colonies should be protected from disturbance. Mountainous forests in the Trans Pecos should be managed for old trees and snags, which can serve as day roosts. Diverse habitats provide adequate foraging habitat.
- No information known on population trends, and use and acceptance of bat gates. More information is needed on roosting and foraging requirements.
Additional details can be found in the online version of The Mammals of Texas for the Western Small-footed Myotis