What Bat Species are in Texas, USA?

A few years ago, I posted an article about Bats in Dallas.

Recently, I’ve received a ton of comments on this post from amazing people out there noticing what I wrote about…

…Those erratic “birds” flying at night, which aren’t really birds at all. They are bats!

Now, one of the comments asked me what types of species of bats are found in Dallas. Now, although I couldn’t find an exact list of those specific to Dallas, I’ve found a list of bat species that exist in Texas, and more than likely, in Dallas too!

In Texas, there are 32 species of bats that grace those Lonestar State skies.

There are more bat species in Texas than in any other state in the USA, but of them, 27 species are known to reside there, although they are not often seen by the average citizen.

The Brazilian free-tailed bat, in Latin it’s the Tadarida brasiliensis, otherwise known as the Mexican free-tailed bat, as well as the cave myotis (Latin: Myotis velifer), make up the vast majority of the cave dwelling bats in Central & West Texas.

What’s cool about these bats is that they have some sort of economic value, which could help save their natural environment and their lives, as their nitrogen-rich excrement, called guano, can be harvested for higher and better uses.

Commercial guano production has been undertaken already at James River Bat Cave in Mason County, Beaver Creek Cavern in Burnet County, and some largely deposited caves in Edwards County like Devil’s Sinkhole.  Blowout Cave (Blanco County), and Bandera Bat Cave (Bandera County) have also been harvested from.

Suspected to hold between 20-40 million of these Texan bats, Bracken Cave in Coman County by San Antonio, TX is thought to be the largest concentration of bats in the world.

In East & SouthEast Texas, there are 3 main species dwelling there.  Both the big brown bat, Latin: Eptesicus fuscus, and the evening bat, Nycticeius humeralis, live in forest and woodlands.  Lasiurus borealis, or the red bat, can also be found in this part of the Lonestar State.

What’s absolutely marvelous about these little mammals, is that they have the ability to keep our insect populations under control, including crop pests. Bats are at the top of the food chain when it comes to predators of insects. You will see these stealthy fliers between dusk and dawn, often near a source of water, capturing their food source of insects using instead of their sense of sight, which is absolutely poor, their sonar abilities to locate their live food.

The more rare species of bats that reside in Texas have, coincidentally been seen along the Rio Grande in Southern Texas, and in the Trans-Pecos.

So, in summary, I’m assuming if you’ve seen bats at all in Texas, you may not have known there are 32 species in total that live there.

And now, there are No Ifs, Ands or Bats about whether you’re seeing a bird at night because it’s more likely to be an elusive bat!


I hope you enjoy this Insectivore post on Exotic Animal Lover. Until next time…

Live Exotically!

work cited:texasalmanac.com

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One Response
  1. Chris OBanion says:

    It appears the bat in this picture is suffering from whit nosed syndrome. Bats in the continental U.S. are in trouble. We should all do everything we can to help them. including hanging bat houses, education about the benefits of bats etc.

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