Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis)


  • Recognition
  • Weight: 1/8 - 1/4 oz. (5-7 g)
  • Body length: 3 - 3 7/8 in. (75-100 mm)
  • Wingspan: 9-11 in. (23-27 cm)
  • Forearm: 1 3/8 - 1 1/2 in. (35-39 mm)

The northern long-eared bat has dull brown fur with a slightly paler belly. True to its name, the northern long-eared bat has long ears that would extend well beyond the muzzle (nose) if laid flat. In addition to its ear length, the northern long-eared bat also has a long, pointed tragus. These two characters can help distinguish this species from little brown bats.

Northern long-eared bats are most active one to two hours after dusk and then again right before sunrise. Northern long-eared bats are capable of picking up insects like katydids off of vegetation. This feeding process is known as gleaning. Generally, northern long-eared bats begin feeding after dusk and often carry larger prey to their night roosts for consumption.


  • Summer Roost: Northern long-eared bats roost in buildings, hollow trees (both alive and dead), behind shutters, under loose bark, and under shingles.
  • Winter Roost: In the winter, northern long-eared bats roost in caves and mines. Within these areas, northern long-eared bats often roost in cracks and crevices.

Small night-flying insects.

Similar Species:
Little Brown Bat has glossy fur, smaller ears and tragus.

Northern long-eared bats have dramatically declined in Maryland due to white-nose syndrome. Northern long-eared bats are listed as species of greatest conservation need in Maryland. In addition, they are ranked as threatened and highly state rare (S1). Globally, northern long-eared bats are rare and are listed federally as threatened.


Northern Long-eared Bat Spectrograph

Courtesy of Bat Call: Acoustic Call Library and Species Accounts

Photo by: Dr. J. Scott Altenbach​


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