10 Types of Bats In Wyoming! (ID GUIDE)

How can anyone in Wyoming think that bats are scary?

Types of bats in Wyoming

Despite what you see in the movies, these fascinating flying mammals wouldn’t hurt a fly! Well, technically, they would hurt a fly, or a mosquito, or a moth. But other than that, bats are harmless. 🙂

It’s hard to believe the diversity and amount of bat species that can be found in Wyoming! But, unfortunately, when you see a bat, it’s typically pretty difficult to determine which kind it is. These nocturnal creatures fly incredibly fast and are only active at night.

10 kinds of bats in Wyoming:


#1. Big Brown Bat

  • Eptesicus fuscus

Types of bats in Wyoming

  • It is a larger bat with around a 12-inch (30 cm) wingspan.
  • Brown fur with black ears, wings, and feet. Wings are hairless.

Big Brown Bats are among the most common bats in Wyoming.

If you look, you’ll find these bats inside caves, tunnels, or other human structures.

Big Brown Bat Range Map

big brown bat range map

This nocturnal bat primarily eats insects, especially ones that fly at night. However, their preference is to eat beetles.

The Cucumber Beetle is their favorite, which benefits farmers because these insects are terrible pests for agriculture. Many farmers in Wyoming even use bat boxes to attract Big Brown Bats to their property!

Interestingly, many Big Brown Bats have immunity to rabies. Researchers discovered that these rabies antibodies get passed down from generation to generation!

YouTube video

#2. Hoary Bat

  • Lasiurus cinereus
Types of bats in Wyoming
Hoary bat. (2023, March 29). In Wikipedia.
  • Brown hair with grayish-white tips. Wings and belly are brown and hairless, with a wingspan of approximately 15.5 inches (39 cm).
  • Males are almost double the size of females.

You’ll typically find Hoary Bats in Wyoming roosting on trees in woodland forests. They are solitary bats that roost in open foliage. They do form “flocks” when migrating south in late summer, but they don’t hang out with other bats normally.

Hoary Bat Range Map

hoary bat range map

This species prefers to hunt for prey while flying over wide-open areas or lakes. Hoary Bats hunt alone and enjoy eating moths. They’re known to travel up to 24 miles (39 km) in a single night to gather food!

Though the Hoary Bat is not endangered, it does suffer a loss in numbers because of wind turbines. Hoarys migrate each year back and forth from North America to Central America, and it’s thought that they confuse the wind turbine with a tree as they seek a place to rest.


#3. Silver-haired Bat

  • Lasionycteris noctivagans
Types of bats in Wyoming
© Jeff Bartlett
  • Medium-sized with a flathead. The upper part of the tail is covered in thick fur.
  • Mostly black all over with white tips on hairs, with a wingspan of approximately 11.5 inches (29 cm).

This species is known to fly more slowly than other bats in Wyoming.

Look for Silver-haired Bats in forests inside tree cavities or bark crevices. They’ve also been known to seek shelter in outbuildings.

Silver-haired Bat Range Map

silver haired bat range map

Silver-haired Bats hunt for soft-bodied insects, such as moths. Interestingly, they also eat a lot of spiders. They accomplish this feat by foraging low to the ground to find food, unlike many other bats.


#4. Little Brown Bat

  • Myotis lucifugus

Types of bats in Wyoming

  • Glossy brown fur on the body. Wings are hairless and black, with a wingspan of approximately 10 inches (25 cm).
  • Despite its name, it has no connection to the Big Brown Bat.

Look for the Little Brown Bat roosting in Wyoming in sheltered places such as human structures, woodpiles, tree hollows, and occasionally caves.

You can even attract Little Brown Bats to your yard! Many people put up bat houses to attract them to their property to control pests like mosquitos or insects that harm crops.

Little Brown Bat Range Map

Little brown bat. (2023, October 27). In Wikipedia.

Distribution of all little brown bat subspecies: M. l. lucifugus (red), M. l. pernox (green), M. l. alascensis (blue), M. l. carissima (yellow), M. l. relictus (gray)

Little Brown Bats only have a few natural predators, like owls or raccoons. Unfortunately, most of their mortality is caused by parasites or White-nose syndrome.

White-nose syndrome is a fungal disease that grows around the bats’ mouths, ears, and wings. This illness is spread during hibernation and is responsible for the loss of over one million Little Brown Bats between 2006 and 2011. As of 2018, the Little Brown Bat is an endangered species.


#5. Townsend’s Big-eared Bat

  • Corynorhinus townsendii
Townsend’s big-eared bat. (2023, September 22). In Wikipedia.
  • Medium-sized bat with extraordinarily long and thin ears. Lumps on each side of the nose.
  • Dense fur all over, and colors vary from grayish brown to brown. Their wingspan is approximately 12 inches (30 cm).

It’s pretty easy to see how these bats got their name! Their large ears are essential, as they help them distinguish between ambient noise and sounds of prey or predators.

Townsend’s Big-eared Bat Range Map

townsend's big eared bat range map

During summer, males and females inhabit different roosting sites. Males live alone, while females form colonies where they raise their pups.

This species is known as a “whisper bat” because it echolocates much lower than other bats. This is handy when foraging on moths because moths can hear bats’ echolocation. So, as you can see, being quieter gives Townsend’s Big-eared Bat an advantage.


#6. Western Small-footed Myotis

  • Myotis ciliolabrum
© Colin Croft
  • Smaller bat, with yellowish-brown fur and sometimes white underparts.
  • The muzzle, chin, and ears are black. Ears are also long. Their wingspan is approximately 9 inches (23 cm).
  • Feet are tiny, just as their name suggests.

The Western Small-footed Bat is found in semi-arid habitats in Wyoming.

Though this bat is a slower flyer, it can maneuver well. The Western Small-footed Bat tends to feed close to the water, searching for insects like beetles, moths, and flies.

Western Small-footed Bat Range Map

western small footed myotis range map

Western Small-footed Bat females roost in groups, and males roost alone, but both hibernate in winter in solitude.


#7. Long-legged Bat

  • Myotis Volans
Long-legged myotis. (2023, October 25). In Wikipedia.
  • Fur color can vary from light or dark brown to reddish-brown. Tips of their can actually touch their nostrils. Wingspan is approximately 9 inches (23 cm).
  • Unlike other bats, they have fur on the underside of their wings from elbows to knees.
  • They got their name from having a longer tibia bone when compared to other bats.

The Long-legged Bat has unique feet that allow them to hang upside down for an extended time without wasting energy. This feat is accomplished by locking their toes in place. In addition, special cavities in their head prevent blood from going to their brain.

Long-legged Bat Range Map

long legged bat range map
Long-legged myotis. (2023, October 25). In Wikipedia.

These bats prefer to roost in the barks of trees and crevices in rocks, caves, and buildings. They like to spend time in higher elevations in the summer, and then in the winter, they will come down and live and hibernate in caves and mines.

Like other bats in Wyoming, they primarily eat mainly moths using echolocation. However, the Long-legged Bat differs because they get a head start over other bats! They do this by leaving their roost early, foraging before sunset, and then eating throughout the entire night.

Check out this video to see how the Long-legged Bat uses echolocation to catch moths!

YouTube video

#8. Long-eared Myotis

  • Myotis evotis
Long-eared myotis. (2023, August 18). In Wikipedia.
  • Their face and ears are black. The fur on their back ranges from yellowish to dark brown. The wingspan is approximately 10 inches (25 cm).
  • Long dark ears, which is how they got their name.

This bat is found in woodlands, shrublands, grasslands, and agricultural areas. This species leaves its roosts in rocky regions, dead trees, caverns, and buildings to forage insects in dense vegetation.

Long-eared Myotis Range Map

long eared myotis range map

The Long-eared Myotis is active longer at night than most other bats, hunting closer to the ground as the night gets cooler.

Unlike other bats in Wyoming, the Long-eared Myotis often turns off echolocation when hunting. Instead, their long ears help them HEAR prey the old-fashioned way. Click play below to see an example!

YouTube video

#9. Fringed Myotis

  • Myotis thysanodes
© Juan Cruzado Cortés
  • Smaller bat with long ears and a tiny face. The wingspan is approximately 11 inches (28 cm).
  • Light yellowish-brown or dark greenish fur and back and off-white on the underside, brownish-black ears, wings, and legs.

In Wyoming, you’ll find the Fringed Myotis in desert shrublands, sagebrush grasslands, and woodland habitats with pine and oak trees.

Fringed Myotis Range Map

fringed myotis range map

These bats have a diet that consists primarily of beetles.

The Fringed Myotis has a fringe of short, wire-like hairs on the membrane between its hind legs, which is how it got its name. It has been thought that these hairs help it catch insects while flying.


#10. Spotted Bat

  • Euderma maculatum
Spotted bat. (2023, October 14). In Wikipedia.
  • The fur on the back is black with three distinct white spots. The underbelly is white.
  • Tiny gray face with HUGE pinkish ears. The wingspan is approximately 14 inches (35.5 cm).

This species has the most oversized ears of any bat in Wyoming!

Spotted Bat ears are unique because their ears roll up around their head when they’re resting. And then, when they become active, the ears fill up with blood and unroll.

Spotted Bat Range Map

spotted bat range map

Some Spotted Bats hibernate in cold weather, which means their heart rate slows, and their body temperature falls to their surroundings. Other individuals will migrate to warmer weather.

Spotted Bats are very territorial and prefer to live in solitude.

This bat is one of only a few bats with an echolocation sound low enough to be heard by humans!


Do you need additional help identifying bats in Wyoming?

If so, this field guide should be able to help you.


Which of these bats have you seen before in Wyoming?

Leave a comment below!


Check out my other guides about animals in Wyoming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *