northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis septentrionalis)

Distribution Map

Distribution Map


This is a medium-sized Myotis, with non-glossy brown fur with the stomach being lighter colored than the back. It has a long tail, and long ears (4-5 mm past muzzle end when forward). The adult total length is from 79-100 mm, with a wingspread of 228-258 mm. The weight 1/8 to 3/8 ounces (5-10 grams). Little is known about reproduction in this species but it is thought to follow the pattern of other myotis with mating in fall and the birth of one young in June-July. The females segregate into mating colonies of up to 30 or so individuals under tree bark, shingles, etc…. . This species is more solitary than M. lucifugus and hibernates singly or in clusters of 4-6 in colonies of up to 350 individuals. Hibernation may begin as early as August, and this species prefers cool, moist sites (caves) with still air, often near the entrances but in areas where humidity is so high water droplets may cover their fur. In the summer they use less insulative shelters, and day and night roosts may differ (caves at night). They begin foraging just after dusk, with more foraging prior to dawn. This species is native. The longevity record is 18.5 years.


This species inhabits forested regions, and will forage mainly on hillsides, and ridge forests rather than riparian and flood-plain forests. They frequent areas under the forest canopy just above shrub level. It is unknown in hardwood forests in general.


They forage on hillsides and ridges under the tree canopy feeding on small insects especially flies.

More Information

For more information, please visit the Virginia Fish & Wildlife Information Service (direct link to species booklet).