Fun Tricolored Bat Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Tricolored Bat Facts For Kids

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The tricolored bat, Perimyotis subflavus, the smallest bat of the eastern and mid-western United States. The tricolored bat got the name because of its three distinct fur colors, dark gray at the base, yellowish-brown in the middle, and brown or reddish-brown at the tips. It is the first bat to enter hibernation, around September or October, and the last to emerge in spring.

Often bats are portrayed misguidedly in movies and media in poor light. The microbats are tiny animals that mostly keep to themselves in their roosts.

Tri-colored bats are nocturnal and depend on echolocation (high-frequency sound waves) to prey while flying. They are highly efficient in doing this, and one study found that a Myotis bat has captured 1200 fruit flies in one hour!

You can learn more about other exciting bats like big brown bat and numbat in our other articles.

Fun Tricolored Bat Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Mosquitoes, Moths, Beetles, Ants, Cicadas

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.16–0.28 oz (4.6–7.9 g)

How long are they?

2.9-3.5 in (75-90 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellow, Brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, White-nose Syndrome

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Caves, Open Woods, Forest Edges, Rock Crevices, Woodland Edges, Tunnels, Mines


Central America, Eastern United States, Southeastern Canada









Tricolored Bat Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tricolored bat?

A tricolored bat is a microbat, of the species Perimyotis subflavus. It was formerly considered the same as Pipistrellus subflavus species but later discovered as a close relative.

What class of animal does a tricolored bat belong to?

The tricolored bat, Perimyotis subflavus, is a flying mammal of class Chiroptera, genus Perimyotis.

How many tricolored bats are there in the world?

Though the exact number of tricolored bats is not known, it is known that there are about 1000 species of microbats.

Where does a tricolored bat live?

The tricolored bat distribution is throughout the forests in the eastern United States, distributed from Canada, through central America, towards the south until New Mexico, and west into states of Michigan, Texas, and Minnesota. In South Carolina, the tricolored bat range is state-wide. It is also found in the states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

What is a tricolored bat's habitat?

Tricolored bats are commonly associated with forested landscapes in open woods, woodland edges, caves, mines, trees, rock crevices, etc. They can also be found adjacent to water edges and over water. They generally are stable with their hibernation sites and do not change them.

Who do tricolored bats live with?

Tricolored bats are generally solitary except for small nursery groups. During summer, the males and females live separately. Males are generally solitary, while females form small maternity colonies of 35 individuals or less in buildings, rock crevices, and tree cavities.

How long does a tricolored bat live?

The tricolored bat has a relatively long life and can live up to 15 years of age in the wild. The highest mortality can occur in the first or second hibernation periods due to the lack of enough storage of fat reserves. The females have a higher mortality rate than the male Tricolored bats.

How do they reproduce?

The tricolored bat is a seasonal breeder with mating happening before hibernation in the fall. The females store the sperm of the male in the uterus through the winter until ovulation occurs in spring. Once fertilized, the female gives birth to twin pups after a gestation period of 44 days. The newborns have heavy body mass, almost 58% of the mother's postpartum mass. The pups are born blind and have no fur, and only begin to fly in three weeks. Until then, the mother leaves them behind in the roost while she forages in the night. Then, around four weeks of age, they forage for themselves. The young reach sexual maturity in their first fall and start breeding around the second fall.

What is their conservation status?

This species of tricolored bat, P subflavus, is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN. White-nose syndrome (WNS), has affected this species leading to reduced populations and changing the status from Least Concern, a decade ago, to Vulnerable now.

Tricolored Bat Fun Facts

What do tricolored bats look like?

Tricolored bat facts, explore about the tiny teeny bat with a built-in sonar.

Tricolored bat species was earlier considered the same as the Eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus). But later, it is treated as a different species, Perimyotis subflavus. This species is a tiny bat with three distinct fur colors, black at the base, a yellowish-brown band in the middle, and brown or reddish-brown at the tip. It is distinct by the reddish-orange forearm, attached to the body by black wing membranes. The face and ears are pink, with short and round ears with a blunt, straight tragus. The distinct pink color of the skin on the radius bone is an identifying characteristic of the species. Compared to body size, this bat has large feet.

How cute are they?

They are tiny and cute.

How do they communicate?

The tricolored bats, like many other bats, have the unique skill of communicating through echolocation. Echolocation is a technique in which the bat sees the environment through sound. It sends a sound pulse of a high pitch from its voice box, which humans cannot detect at high frequency. Based on the echo that comes back, the bat can understand how far the object is, its size, texture, and whether it is moving or stable. The bats sense the environment in this way and use it for navigation, finding their prey without running into objects, very efficiently. They also make sounds of social chatter, alarm calls, mother and pup talk, and these sounds can be heard by humans too.

How big is a tricolored bat?

The tricolored bat is a tiny flying animal, which can fit in half the palm. These brown bats look like miniature bats, comparable to a bumblebee. Its forearm length can range between 1.2 to 1.4 in (31 - 35 mm). Its wingspan is 8.3–10.2 in ( 21–26 cm).

How fast can a tricolored bat fly?

The tricolored bat can fly at a speed of 11.6 mph ( 18.6 kph) catching an insect every two seconds. But its flight has an erratic and fluttery flight pattern though fast.

How much does a tricolored bat weigh?

The tricolored bat species is very light and can weigh up to 0.16–0.28 oz (4.6–7.9 gm). When they forage on insects, their body weight can increase by 25% in as little as 30 min time.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male is called a male tricolored bat, and the female is referred to as a female tricolored bat.

What would you call a baby tricolored bat?

The young one of the tricolored bat species is called a pup. It is born blind and with no fur.

What do they eat?

The tricolored bat forages near trees and tree foliage on forest edges, over waterways and ponds where the insect populations are high. They feed on small insects like flies, ground beetles, leafhoppers, flying ants, tiny moths, etc. Hence they are essential to maintain the ecological balance.

They are evening bats as one round of their foraging journey starts in the dusk and another around midnight.

Are they dangerous?

Tricolored bats are very small, and they mostly keep to themselves in their hibernation sites and maternity roosts. If approached by humans, they simply crawl or fly away; they are not dangerous. But they can carry viruses like Lyssavirus, which can be caught from the bite or scratch of infected bats of some species like Fruit bat, etc.

Would they make a good pet?

The tricolored bat is not known to be a good pet. Bats thrive in the wild, and they do not behave like a cat or a dog and are not trainable. In addition, they need a large distance to fly and be strong, so caging does not suit them.

Did you know...

Why do bats hang upside down? Their arms and legs are attached to wing membranes and aid them to fly and not stand on their hind legs. In addition, they have special tendons on their feet that aid them in clinging to the objects, hanging upside down effortlessly.

Why is the tricolored bat endangered?

Tricolored bats, along with several other species of microbats, are endangered because of habitat loss due to the disturbance of maternity roosts and hibernation sites, deforestation, and more. Pesticide poisoning is another threat to insectivorous bats.

The natural predators of this species are northern leopard frogs, raccoons, skunks, snakes, birds of prey, and prairie voles. Feral cats and hoary bats also attack them. In addition, they are hosts to several species of endoparasites.

How did the tricolored bat get its name?

The tricolored bat got the name because of the three distinct fur colors, a dark gray at the base, yellowish-brown in the middle, and brown or reddish-brown at the tips.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our fruit bat facts and Mexican free-tailed bat facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Tricolored bat coloring pages.

Written By
Kidadl Team

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