Southeastern Myotis

Scientific Name
Myotis austroriparius
Also Known As
Mississippi Myotis, Southeastern Bat
Central and Northern Florida
Mossquitos, Mayflies, Caddisflies, Beetles, Moths
Life Expectancy
5 - 6 Years
The Southeastern Myotis

Photo 261557094 © kraftjaguar, CC BY-NC

 Southeastern Myotis conservation status - Vulnerable

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Brown Rats in Central Florida

The southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius) is a small insectivorous bat native to the southeastern United States. As a year-round resident of central Florida, populations of M. austroriparius thrive in the warm, humid climate. This article provides detailed biological facts, behavior, habitat preferences, and conservation status for the southeastern myotis in central Florida.

Appearance and Identification

Southeastern myotis bats can be identified by the following physical characteristics

Adult Southeastern Myotis

Photo 320622009 © hannahturb, CC BY-NC

Adult Southeastern Myotis

  • Wingspan: 9 to 10 inches
  • Body length: 2 to 3 inches
  • Fur color: glossy brown to dark gray dorsally, pale gray ventrally
  • Facial features: Black mask, pink nose, black ears
A few Southeastern Myotis bats

Photo 14840213 © Katelin Cross, CC BY-NC

Southeastern Myotis

  • Wingspan: 8 to 9 inches
  • Body length: 1.5 to 2 inches from snout to tail
  • Fur color: Gray, tan or pale brown fur on back, lighter underside
  • Facial features: Pink nose and lips, small rounded ears

The southeastern myotis is one of Florida’s smaller bat species, with pointed tragus and keeled calcar distinguishing it from similar looking evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) and eastern pipistrelle bats (Perimyotis subflavus).

Maturation Rate

Newborn pups weigh only 1 to 2 grams. They grow rapidly, reaching adult size by 21 days old. Sexual maturity is attained at 6 to 12 months of age. The southeastern myotis has one breeding season annually in Florida.

Habits and Behavior

The southeastern myotis is nocturnal, resting in hollow trees and Spanish moss during the day. At night, it emerges to forage primarily over water sources like ponds, streams, and wetlands. This species flies slowly and erratically, catching insects in flight or gleaning them from vegetation.

M. austroriparius uses echolocation to navigate and hunt prey. It produces broadband frequency sweeps from 80 to 40 kHz. calls are steep and rapid, at a repetition rate of 18 calls per second. The southeastern myotis roosts in colonies ranging from a dozen to hundreds of individuals.

Reproduction and Lifespan

In central Florida, breeding occurs in autumn. Females give birth to a single pup from April to June. The gestation period is 50 to 60 days, with lactation lasting 3 to 5 weeks. Young southeastern myotis pups are volant by 3 weeks old. Lifespans in the wild average 5 to 6 years.