Bat Species of Quebec

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Bats are vertebrate mammals that belong to the order Chiroptera. They are the only flying mammals in the world. There are almost 1,400 species of bats on Earth, but only 8 bat species are found in Quebec.

Which species of bats live in Quebec? What are their distinguishing features and habits? Which habitats do they prefer?

In this article, the professionals at E.Exterminateur provide an overview of the 8 bat species found in Quebec. Bats can sometimes get into homes, so it’s important to be familiar with them so that you know what to do if such a situation occurs.

Silver-haired bat – Lasionycteris noctivagans

The silver-haired bat is a migratory species. These bats are 9 to 11 cm long on average. They weigh 6 to 12 g and have a wingspan of 26 to 31 cm.

Distinguishing features

Silver-haired bats fly slowly. As their name suggests, they have black or dark brown fur with silvery highlights, particularly on the back. This distinctive fur covers half of their wings and part of their uropatagium (the lower part that includes the legs and tail).

Their ears are black on the outside, pink on the inside, and are almost as long as they are wide.

Habitat and behaviour

Silver-haired bats fly to South Carolina every fall. They are solitary animals, although they may live in small groups of 3 or 4 individuals. They like forested areas and places near water, where they find many of the insects they like to eat. This species is often found in the treetops or in hollows in trees. They also like to shelter in buildings over the winter, where they can pose health risks to humans.

Reproduction

Silver-haired bats generally mate during fall migration, and pups are born in June or July. Females generally carry two offspring at a time.

Eastern red bat – Lasiurus borealis

The eastern red bat is also a migratory species. These bats are 9 to 11 cm long on average. They weigh between 8 and 18 g and have a wingspan of 29 to 33 cm.

Distinguishing features

This species is distinguished primarily by the colour of its fur. Males have reddish fur, while females are more golden brown. Females also have white shoulder patches and white under the chin. Eastern red bats have a fuzzy uropatagium, hairy ears and long wings with fur up to the wrist.

Habitat and behaviour

Eastern red bats migrate to Mexico and the southern United States. In Quebec, they live in forests and like to hang from treetops. When hanging, they can be mistaken for dead leaves. They fly around water, fields and urban areas to hunt insects.

Reproduction

Eastern red bats generally mate in flight during migration. There are usually 2 pups to a litter, but there can be as many as 4. Pups are born between May and July.

Hoary bat – Lasiurus cinereus

The hoary bat is a migratory species. These bats measure 13 to 15 cm in length. They weigh between 20 and 35 g, and their wingspan is 34 to 42 cm. The hoary bat is the largest bat species found in Quebec.

Distinguishing features

Hoary bats have light brown fur with white tips. They have distinctive yellowish fur around the throat and head and short, round ears with black tips. Their uropatagium and feet are covered in fur.

Habitat and behaviour

Like the migratory species above, hoary bats fly south in fall to the southern United States or the Caribbean. They like to shelter in rocks, crevasses and squirrel nests. When in Quebec, they make their homes in the treetops of coniferous forests. They hunt in clearings or near water, where insects are abundant.

Reproduction

Unlike other migratory bat species, the mating period of the hoary bat is not precisely known. It is thought to occur before, during or after fall migration. Hoary bats have 1 to 4 pups at a time.

Big brown bat – Eptesicus fuscus

The big brown bat is a non-migratory species. These bats measure 9 to 13 cm in length and have a wingspan of 32 to 39 cm. They weigh 23 g on average. The big brown bat is the second largest bat species in Quebec after the hoary bat.

Distinguishing features

Recognizing big brown bats is not always easy. The species can have fur in a variety of colours. Their back is generally darker than their front. Their head, wings, snout and tail are leathery black in appearance, and they have rounded ears. The females of the species are larger than the males.

Habitat and behaviour

Big brown bats live in locations ranging from woods and places near water to urban areas. They can hibernate in a variety of places and aren’t particularly susceptible to winter conditions. They are often found in homes during the winter. Decontamination may be needed after an infestation.

Reproduction

Big brown bats mate in fall or over the winter, but fertilization only occurs in spring. Females store the sperm until that time, then form maternity colonies and give birth to one or two pups in mid to late June.

Little brown bat – Myotis lucifugus

The little brown bat is a non-migratory species. These bats are 8 to 9.5 cm long, with a wingspan of 21 to 27 cm. They weigh between 5 and 14 g. The little brown bat is an endangered species. These bats have the unusual characteristic of forming a strong attachment to their maternity site and returning to it every year.

Distinguishing features

Little brown bats have glossy fur that ranges from olive brown to black. They have long hairs that can extend from their feet to their claws. Their ears are rounded at the tips.

Habitat and behaviour

For some time now, little brown bats have been dying out in large numbers all over North America due to white nose syndrome, an infection that causes some species of bats to run out of energy during hibernation and die. Little brown bats can live in a variety of habitats, such as woods, places near water and urban areas. They tend to hibernate in caves or mines.

Reproduction

Little brown bats mate in fall. Like big brown bats, the females store the sperm until spring. Pups are born between May and July after 50 to 60 days of gestation. Females give birth to one pup per year.

Northern myotis – Myotis septentrionalis

The northern myotis is a non-migratory species. These bats measure 7 to 8.9 cm in length and have a wingspan of 21 to 26 cm. They weigh 6 to 9 g. The northern myotis is also an endangered species.

Distinguishing features

Northern myotises look a lot like little brown bats. Their back and ears are dark brown, while their front is more yellowish. They have very large ears with pointed tips.

Habitat and behaviour

Northern myotises are generally solitary and live in boreal forests for most of the year, but hibernate in groups in rocky caves or crevasses. They can even be found under the bark of certain trees.

Reproduction

Northern myotises mate in fall just before going into hibernation. Females store the sperm until spring, then give birth in June or July after 50 to 60 days of gestation. Females give birth to one pup per year.

Eastern small-footed bat – Myotis leibii

The eastern small-footed bat is the smallest and rarest species of bat found in Quebec. These non-migratory bats measure between 7 and 9 cm in length. They weigh 3 to 5 g and have a wingspan of 21 to 25 cm.

Distinguishing features

Eastern small-footed bats have golden brown fur on their back and a grayish brown front. The base of their fur is black, as are their wings and uropatagium. Their heads are completely black as well. They have large ears with pointed tips. At less than 8 mm, their feet are the smallest of any bat species in Quebec.

Habitat and behaviour

This rare species lives in mountainous forests and can withstand colder temperatures. Eastern small-footed bats like to hibernate in groups in hidden places like abandoned mines, crevasses and caves, which they seek out for their temperature and humidity. Unlike many other bat species, they can hibernate horizontally.

Reproduction

Eastern small-footed bats mate in the fall. They are polygynandrous, meaning that both males and females mate with multiple partners. Pups are born in July, and females give birth to one at a time. When they are born, the pups weigh 1 to 2 g, 20 to 35% of their mother’s body weight.

Tricoloured bat – Perimyotis subflavus

The tricoloured bat is a non-migratory endangered species. These bats are 7 to 9.8 cm long and weigh between 5 and 7 g. Their wingspan is 20 to 26 cm.

Distinguishing features

The females of this species are larger than the males. As their name suggests, tricoloured bats have distinctive colouring. Each individual hair is tricoloured—gray at the base, yellowish in the middle and darker brown at the end. Both back and front have the same colouring. They have black wings and no fur on their snout. Their ears are big and straight.

Habitat and behaviour

Tricoloured bats are often found around the edge of the woods. They like to hunt near water. In October, they head to abandoned mines and caves to hibernate alone or in groups.

Reproduction

Tricoloured bats mate in fall before hibernating. Pups are born between the end of May and the beginning of July after a 44-day gestation period. Females generally give birth to two pups a year. Like the eastern small-footed bat, pups weigh approximately a quarter of their mother’s body weight at birth, around 1.9 g.

E.Exterminateur: bat removal experts in Quebec

Now you know all about the bat species found in Quebec. If you encounter bats in future, you may even be able to identify the species.

If you discover bats in your home, knowing the species is essential because the law forbids exterminating those that are considered endangered.

If you think you may have a bat infestation, don’t hesitate to contact a professional bat removal service like E.Exterminateur for help. They will be able to identify the species and use the appropriate methods to get rid of the bats.

Contact E.Exterminateur for a free quote.