|Bats at the Archbold Biological Station
There are at least six species of bats that are part time or permanent residents at the Archbold Station. All belong to the order Chiroptera. Five species are Vespertilionids and one is a Molossid (see below). For more information on each species visit the website of Bat Conservation International at http://www.batcon.org and look in the Discovery section under species lists and then under Bats by State and then Florida.
Eptesicus fuscus osceola - Big Brown Bat
Big brown bats are not common at the Archbold Station. The station is at the southern edge of their range in the Eastern U.S. Nonetheless their presence has been documented at the Station by Dr. James Layne.
At the Archbold Station the northern yellow bat can be found in foraging over grassy pastures. With a bat detector you can hear their echolocation cries on Red Hill in the early evening. This species is known to roost in dried palm fronds and a well-trimmed palm excludes this interesting visitor. This bats feeds on a variety of small insects.
Seminole bats are one of the most interesting species of bats in the area. They are named after the native American Indian tribe that once shared their habitat. The Seminole bat roosts singly or in pairs within clumps of Spanish Moss. It forages as treetop level over open water. This one is a good one to see at Lake Annie.
Evening bats have been reported to roost under the main building at the Archbold Station. Your best bet for seeing and listening to them forage is on the main grounds.
While extremely common in the forests of the eastern United States south through northern Florida, it is a less frequent visitor at the Station. To find it look just above the treetops in the early evening.
Tadarida brasiliensis cynocephala - Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat
A small colony of brazilian free-tailed bats roost during the summer months on the watertower at Archbold. If you stand at the base of the tower you can watch the bats leave their roost at dusk. They circle the tower a few times and head out in search of moths to eat. They come back early in the morning. Brazilian free-tailed bats are know to feast on moths at very high altitudes. DO NOT CLIMB THE WATERTOWER or you will disturb the colony.