Animal Fact Sheet:  Cave myotis bat

Identifying Features

The Cave myotis (Myotis velifer) is a medium-sized bat with brown or black fur on its back and paler fur on its underside. Its ears are short and pointed and its eyes are small.


During the summer these bats can be found roosting in caves in groups of 2,000-5,000 individuals. Some of these will stay and hibernate over winter, but most appear to be migratory over short distances.


As indicated by their name the cave myotis prefers a cave habitat, but will choose other roosting areas if a suitable cave is not available. These alternate areas can include mines, rock crevices, abandoned buildings, barns and under bridges.


These bats are found throughout the southwestern United States from central Oklahoma and Texas to New Mexico, Arizona and extreme southeast California. They also extend their range into Mexico and Central America.

Wild Status

The cave myotis is considered to be doing well and is listed as a species of least concern.


Cave myotis are insectivores. They feed upon a wide variety of insects depending upon which are available on any given night. They find their prey by using echolocation. This method of hunting helps them to determine the size and form of their prey as well as helps them avoid obstacles during flight.


Predators vary, but can include hawks, snakes, owls, raccoons, feral cats and coyote.


Mating occurs in late fall, but as with many other bat species the female will store the sperm until early spring. They give birth to a single pup in June or July. The young learn to fly at three weeks old.

Life Span

Their life span is approximately 10-15 years.


Weight 0.4-0.5 oz (12-15 g). Wingspan 11-13 in (28-33cm)

Extra Fun-facts

  • These bats have been known to roost in swallow nests if other suitable root sites are not available.
  • These bats are very sensitive to human activity and will abandon a roosting area if disturbed.
Retrieved from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum web site on 06-12-2024