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