Common name:  Velvety free-tailed bat
                                 Pallas' mastiff bat

Scientific nameMolossus molossus

Family: Molossidae

Photo by Jerry L. Gingerich, D.V.M.


Description:  The short velvety fur varies in color from dark brown to dark gray.  Like other bats in the family Molossidae the tail extends well beyond a short tail membrane. 

Wingspan:               10-11 inches

Body length:           2.3-2.6 inches

Weight:                     0.2-0.5 ounces

Florida roosting preferences:  Colonial.  So far, in Florida, this bat has only been found roosting in buildings.  In Cuba they are known to roost in rock crevices, tree hollows, buildings and the cracks in utility poles.

Food preferences:  Insectivorous.  They feed on planthoppers, leafhoppers, grasshoppers, moths, beetles, mayflies and other small flying insects.

Reproduction:  Females give birth to a single pup, but may have more than one reproductive cycle in a year.  Pups are born during the summer from June through September.

Florida status:  Uncommon.

Florida range:  Found only in the Florida Keys from Key West to Key Largo.

Note:  The velvety free-tailed bat was first discovered in the Florida Keys in 1994. 
It is believed this species arrived in Florida from Cuba as a result of natural causes.  Since then it has expanded its range throughout most of the Florida Keys from Key West to Key Largo.

Copyright Florida Bat Center 2005



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