Florida Bonneted Bat

FloridaBonnetedBat.jpg

Florida Bonneted Bat: Eumops floridanus

Taxonomic Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class:  Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Molossidae
Genus/Species: Eumops floridanus
Common Name: Florida bonneted bat

Listing Status

Federal Status: Endangered
FL Status: Federally-designated Endangered
FNAI Ranks: G5T1/S1 (Globally: Demonstrably Secure, Sub Sp. Critically Imperiled/State: Critically Imperiled)
IUCN Status: CR (Critically Endangered)

Physical Description

The Florida bonneted bat (also known as the Florida mastiff bat) is the largest species of bat in Florida (Belwood 1992).  This bat species can reach a length of 6.5 inches (16.5 centimeters) with a wingspan of 20 inches (51 centimeters).  The pelage (hair) color varies from black to brown to grayish or cinnamon brown (Belwood 1992; Best 1997; Timm and Genoways 2004, J. Gore pers comm. 2011 ).

Life History

Very little life history information is available for this species.  The diet of the Florida bonneted bat primarily consists of flying insects.

Florida bonneted bats are thought to have a low reproductive capacity, only giving birth to one offspring per breeding season.  However, the female has the capability of going into heat many times during the year (polyestrous).  This species may have two breeding seasons each year.  Reproduction has been documented during the summer and also during January and February (Best 1997; Timm and Genoways 2004). 

Florida bonneted bats have been documented using artificial roosts such as bat houses.  The role of artificial roosts in the conservation of this species has not been fully explored.  Several FWC-managed areas in south Florida have built bat houses to increase roosting site availability for this species.

Habitat and Distribution

Florida Bonneted Bat Distribution Map

Florida bonneted bats are thought to be exceedingly rare.  Only a handful of bonneted bat nursery roosts have been documented and none are in natural habitat (i.e. all are in bat houses).  Bonneted bats have been detected foraging in native habitat including semitropical forests with tropical hardwood, pineland, and mangrove habitats, as well as man-made areas such as golf-courses or neighborhoods (Robson, 1989).  They are thought to have unusual roosting habits in that one male will roost with several different females at one time (Belwood 1981; Belwood 1992; Best 1997).  Florida bonneted bats have only been found in the South Florida counties of Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Miami-Dade, to date. 

Threats:

The Florida bonneted bat faces many threats to its population.  The species’ small range leaves the population vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes since the impact could occur throughout its entire range.  Diseases such as White Nose-Syndrome may be a threat to the bonneted bat population, although to date the disease is only known to impact cave-hibernating species.  The loss of habitat, including natural roost sites, threatens the population.  Pesticide use could also threaten the bonneted bat population by affecting their food source, although it has not been proven (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2008).

Conservation and Management

The Florida bonneted bat is listed as a Candidate by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for protection by the Federal Endangered Species Act, and is protected as a State-designated Threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule External Website.

Species Action Plan Adobe PDF
Biological Status Review (BSR) Adobe PDF
Supplemental Information for the BSR Adobe PDF

Other Informative Links

Encyclopedia of Life External Website
Florida Natural Areas Inventory External Website
International Union for Conservation of Nature External Website
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Species Profile External Website

 

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References

Belwood, J.J. 1981. Wagner’s mastiff bat, Eumops glaucinus floridanus (Molossidae) in southwestern Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 62:411-413.

Belwood, J.J. 1992. Florida mastiff bat Eumops glaucinus floridanus. Pages 216-223 in S.R. Humphrey (ed.), Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. I. Mammals. University Press of Florida. Gainesville, Florida.

Best, T.L., W.M. Kiser, and J.C. Rainey. 1997. Eumops glaucinus. Mammalian Species 551:1-6.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Eumops_glaucinus_floridanus.PDF External Website

Robson, M. 1989. Status survey of the Florida mastiff bat. Final Performance Report, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee

Timm, R.M., and H.H. Genoways. 2004. The Florida bonneted bat, Eumops floridanus (Chiroptera:Molossidae): distribution, morphometrics, systematics, and ecology. Journal of Mammalogy 85:852-865.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2008. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Assessment and Listing Priority Assignment.


Image Credit FWC



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