Eastern Small Footed Bats are one of Ohio's 13 bat species and is commonly referred to as the small footed myotis.
The Eastern Small Footed bat is among the smallest bats in eastern North America and is known for its small feet and black face-mask. Their exact population is unknown because of the difficulty to count them in bat surveys. They often hibernate in places that make them difficult to locate. It is also believed that their population was severely effected by the White Nose Syndrome.
The eastern small-footed bat has shiny yellowish brownish fur, blackish face and ears, and blackish-brown wings and tail membrane. They are about 3 1/2 inches long with an inch and half tail and a wingspan that ranges from 8 1/4 to 9 3/4 inches long. Their average weight is 0.14 - 0.28 ounces. They have a very flat, short head with a forehead that slopes gradually away from the rostrum and a short flat nose.
Eastern small footed bats are insectivores that mostly feed primarily on nocturnal flying insects such as beetles, mosquitoes, moths, flies, and occasionally ants. These bats feed at night along wooded areas, dense forests, over waterways such as streams and ponds, and often below canopy height about 3 to 1 feet off the ground. While feeding they will fill their stomachs within one short hour.
This bat has a slow reproduction rate, they only produce one offspring per year but have rarely been noted to produce twins. These bats mate in the autumn while the female stores the sperm over winter through hibernation. Fertilization will occur in the spring with gestation period of 50–60 days with pups being born in late May to early June. During the time of breeding large number of bats come together in a behavior commonly known as “swarming.” All bats of this species are polyandrous, meaning they mate with multiple partners throughout the mating period. This mating behavior allows them to increase the likelihood of copulation, and therefore increase their reproductive success.
Eastern small footed bats can be found in the Eastern United States including Columbus Ohio. These are uncommon bats and their distribution is spotty within areas they live. They prefer to live in deciduous or coniferous forests and during spring through autumn they prefer to roost in talus slopes, rock fields, ground level rocks, vertical cliff faces, as well as man-made structures including buildings, tunnels, and covered dams.
Information on other types of Ohio Bats