Common name:  Brazilian free-tailed bat

Scientific name Tadarida brasiliensis

Family: Molossidae

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


Description:  The short fur varies in color from dark brown to grayish-brown.  Like other bats in the family Molossidae the tail extends well beyond a short tail membrane.  The upper lips have vertical wrinkles.  Long stiff hairs protrude from the toes and extend beyond the claws.  The Brazilian free-tailed bat has a scent gland that emits a musky odor.  A colony of these bats can be recognized from a distance by the odor alone.  The odor is often mistakenly thought to come from the bat guano.

Wingspan:               11-13 inches

Body length:           2.2-2.9 inches

Weight:                     0.4-0.5 ounces

Florida roosting preferences:  Colonial.  This species forms large colonies ranging from a few hundred to several thousand.  It roosts almost totally in man-made structures, primarily, buildings and bridges.  It particularly likes to roost under barrel tile roofs.  This is the most likely species to move into bat houses in Florida.

Food preferences:  Insectivorous.  Feeds on moths, flies and beetles.

Reproduction:  Females give birth to a single pup, in early June. 

Florida status:  Common.  This is likely Florida's most abundant bat. 

Florida range:  The Brazilian free-tailed bat is found throughout Florida, except the Florida Keys.

Note:  This species is commonly referred to as the Mexican free-tailed bat in the western United States.

Copyright Florida Bat Center 2005


© Copyright 2006 Florida Bat Conservancy | Privacy Policy