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eastern small-footed bat

eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii) [state threatened]
Photo © Michael Durham

Features and Behaviors

The eastern small-footed bat has black fur that appears to form a facial mask around the eyes. The ears are black and relatively short. The hair on the dorsal side of the bat is bicolored, light or golden at the tip and darker below. The wings are dark brown to black. The calcar is keeled. This species has very tiny feet. The total length of the head and tail is 2.8-3.4 inches.

This species was first found in Illinois in about 1990. It prefers dry, upland areas with rocks and caves. It has been seen roosting on the ground under rocks. These bats seem to feed near trees in upland areas and may also hunt near water. They eat insects and spiders and may glean these prey items from trees and other objects as well as capturing insects in flight. This species hibernates in winter. It is one of the last species in Illinois to begin hibernation (October-November) and one of the earliest to become active in spring (March). Hibernation occurs in caves and abandoned mines. Mating takes place in the fall with fertilization delayed until spring. Usually one young per female is born and raised per year.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae

Illinois Status: state threatened, native