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Rafinesque's big-eared bat

Rafinesque's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) [state endangered]
Photo © Michael Durham

Features and Behaviors

Rafinesque's big-eared bat has brown-black fur. Its belly fur has white hairs with black roots. It has huge ears (over one inch in length), each with a long and pointed tragus. The ears can be curled when resting or hibernating. Bumps formed by glands can be seen on either side of its nose.

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat may be found in the southern one-third of Illinois. It lives in trees, abandoned buildings, mines and caves. Rafinesque’s big-eared bat eats insects. It flies late at night and is a fast flyer. This bat hibernates in mines and caves in southern Illinois. In the summer, these bats gather in colonies of less than 30 individuals. Mating occurs in the fall, winter or spring. Those females that mate in the fall or winter store sperm in the uterus until spring, when it is used to fertilize the egg. Young are born in May or June, usually one per female. Young can fly about three weeks after birth. This species is endangered in Illinois and is the rarest bat species in the state.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: state endangered, native