Indiana Bat

Myotis sodalis
Vespertilionidae (evening bats) in the order Chiroptera

A medium-sized bat that is closely related to the little brown bat, the gray bat and the keen's bat. Indiana bats have brownish-gray fur with cinnamon overtones. The ears and wing membranes are blackish-brown.

Indiana bats are difficult to distinguish from little brown bats and keen's bats. The main identifying feature of the Indiana bat is a distinct keel on its calcar (the cartilaginous supporting structure on the rear edge of its tail membrane).

Length: 2 inches; wing span: 8 inches; weight: 1/4 ounce.
Habitat and conservation: 
Indiana bats need cool caves with stable temperatures of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity ranging from 66 to 95 percent. Of Missouri's 6,500 known caves, only 27 have ever had sizeable Indiana bat populations. Conservation methods include avoiding disturbing hibernating bats, maintaining cave habitats, improving streamside habitats and reducing use of pesticides.
They are entirely insectivorous, eating primarily moths but also mosquitoes and aquatic insects.
Distribution in Missouri: 
More than 85 percent of Missouri's total population of Indiana bats hibernate in only eight specific locations, three of which are located in Shannon, Washington and Iron counties of Missouri. Summer roosting Indiana bats have been recorded in northern Missouri.
Listed as Endangered by the Missouri Department of Conservation and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Life cycle: 
Indiana bats summer along streams and rivers in north Missouri, raising their young under bark of certain trees. They hibernate through the winter in caves and abandoned mines (never in houses) in the Ozarks. Female Indiana bats enter hibernation in early autumn, shortly before the males. Bats hibernate in clusters of several hundred to several thousand. They emerge from hibernation in early spring and begin migrating to their summer roosting and foraging areas.
Human connections: 
Bats eats untold numbers of flying insects, including mosquitoes.
Ecosystem connections: 
Control populations of night-flying insects.
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