Types of Bats – There are around 1,100 types of bats across the world, making up 20 percent of all species of mammals. 70 percent are insectivores that eat insects and small creatures while the rest are frugivores, feeding primarily on fruit.
Bats are found nearly everywhere in the world and they perform an extremely vital ecological role by dispersing fruit seeds and pollinating flowers. Below are just a few of the most common types of bats in the world.
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1. Fruit Bats
Of all the types of bats in the world, these are the most popular. They are part of the Megabat family so they can get quite large and some can have a wingspan of five feet across. Although most believe all bats are blind, the fruit bat has the best eye sight, especially at night. Their diet consists of fruit and nectar from the flowers.
2. Vampire Bats
This species is the reason bats have a bad reputation. They are native mainly to Latin America although they prefer a smaller meal with the taste of blood, they will attack a human wandering in their area at night.
They are also the only species that can walk. Once the Vampire bat bites its prey, some of their special saliva prolongs the bleeding so they can feed of it for a longer period of time, stopping the blood from clotting.
3. Bumblebee Bat
These were named for their tiny size and they are one of the world’s smallest animals. They are about one inch long and can fit in the palm of your hand.
They are mainly found in limestone caves in Thailand living in a colony of around 150 all huddles up together. Their food source is limited do their size so they feed mostly on spiders, fleas and gnats.
4. Evening Bats
Similar to the appearance of baby brown bats, these types of bats average a wingspan of 11 inches. This species prefers to live under bridges or in hollow trees and they stay active all year since they fly to warmer climates for the winter. They mainly eat insects that they catches while flying through the air.
5. Big Brown Bats
These bats are found in many places in the world, rural areas as well as large cities. They are happy to set up their home in your attic or hollow trees, ledges of cliffs. They are usually a foot across with 32 potentially lethal teeth that feed primarily on beetles, dragonflies, moths and winged ants.
6. Northern Long Eared Bats
The choice habitat for these types of bats are wet and moist forests, primarily in Canada and the East coast of the United States. They are around three inches long with a three inch wingspan with very long ears and the females grow larger than the males. They hunt for their prey when the sun goes down, feeding on beetles, moths and flies.
7. Silver Haired Bats
These are in abundance in North America. A colony can contain anywhere from 5 to 50 bats but they primarily enjoy being alone. They are medium sized and contrary to their name, their fur is black, not silver.
Bats play an important ecological role to flowers and many other plants as well as being essential in keeping the insect population down. A single bat is capable of eating 600 mosquitoes and other crop eating insects in an hour so gardeners and farmers love them.
8. Gray Bats
Native to the United States, this is the largest of the Myotis group of bats. They are four inches in length and their wings are attached to their ankles rather than their toe base like many other species. The Gray bat resides in caves and hibernates in the winter when others relocate. They feed at night on small fish and insects.