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What Are The Largest Bat Species?

Small brown bat clinging onto a stone wall.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s … a bat the size of a hang glider. 

Here at CP Bat Mitigation, bats are our friends. From the tiniest bumblebee bat in Thailand to the largest bat species, we cannot ignore the benefits of bats on the global and local ecosystem. Even so, if you have a winged house guest, it’s natural to experience a bit of trepidation. 

Even the largest bat species in the world make contributions that ensure a safe and happy existence for humans around the globe.

That doesn’t mean that they belong in your home, however. Understanding just who is taking up residence in your attic can make the entire process of safe bat removal a lot less nerve-wracking. 

Are you curious about the largest bat species in the Midwest, the United States, and the world?

Keep reading to learn all about these helpful and fascinating creatures, as well as how to pursue safe bat relocation and get them back where they belong. 

What Is The Largest Bat Species In The Midwest?

Bats of all sizes make their home in the Central Plains, where the humid climate ensures plenty of delicious mosquitoes and insects to keep them going strong.

Even the largest bats in the region can end up under the radar, as they are nocturnal and a lot more interested in bugs than humans.

If you’ve seen a large bat out hunting in the evening, it might be the Midwest’s largest bat species, the Hoary bat. 

These bats aren’t known for their size, which is large for the Midwest, but not for the species as a whole. They have an average wingspan between 13 and 16 inches, so they still cast an imposing shadow.

You can identify a Hoary bat by its glossy, salt-and-pepper-colored fur. “Hoary” is one of those fancy SAT words, which means “White with age.” 

Hoary bats are not found exclusively in the Midwest. They make their home across the continent, including Canada and Hawaii, and they are migratory, with a preference for warm habitats in the winter months. 

Luckily for humans, these big bats aren’t fond of entering homes – they are solitary and prefer trees. If you suspect that there’s a bat in your home, it’s very unlikely to be the shy and elusive Hoary bat. 

What Is The Largest Bat Species In The United States?

The largest bat species in the United States is the Greater Mastiff Bat, and you’re unlikely ever to see one of these behemoths in the Midwest. 

They tend to stick to the region between Central California and Arizona. The Greater Mastiff Bat’s wingspan averages between 20 and 23 inches.

When it comes to this big bat, however, the most notable feature is its huge and distinctive ears. The ears of this imposing fellow extend beyond its nose, resembling a hat or a bonnet, thus, the common nickname “The Greater Bonneted Bat.” 

Despite their size, you might also smell them before you see them. The male bat’s dermal gland enlarges during mating season and emits a distinctive, musty scent. 

According to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), this is attractive to females and seems to work, as the Greater Mastiff Bat is a species of least concern according to the WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

What Is the Largest Bat Species In The World?

The largest bat species in the world is also unlikely to make its way into your home in the Central Plains. The Golden-Crowned Flying Fox, otherwise known as the Indian Flying Fox, is native to the Phillippines. 

If you happened to spot this truly massive creature in the mangrove forests of the Phillippine jungle, you’d probably notice its wingspan first. The average wingspan for the Golden-Crowned Flying Fox is 5.6 feet. 

Surely, out of all of the bats listed here, this is the one that is most likely to harm humans, right? Wrong. These bats are vegetarians, subsisting on a fruit diet, with a strong preference for delicious Asian figs.

Indian Flying Foxes aren’t fond of humans; they live in large groups containing 10,000 individuals on average.

We should feel lucky they live so far from home because these bats are also quite intelligent. Scientists have found that they have the intellect of a domestic dog and are capable of fairly advanced problem-solving.

Also interesting is the fact that these bats are one of the few species that don’t echolocate when flying or hunting. They prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, using sight and smell to find their fruity dinners. 

They’re quite successful, too, consuming one-third of their body weight in fruit and leaves each night.

Their important ecological role involves redistributing fig seeds through their waste, ensuring they never run out of delicious fruit to eat.

Big Or Small – We’ll Remove Them All!

Bats are pollinators, insect-eaters, and all-around heroes when it comes to supporting the ecosystem in the Midwest and beyond.

Unfortunately, they can’t do their important work if they’ve found their way into your home or workplace.

While the largest bat species may look a little frightening, if you take advantage of bat relocation services, these wonderful winged creatures can get back to work without bothering a soul.

CP Bat Mitigation offers safe and humane bat removal in the Midwest that will ensure all bats great and small get back to eating their weight in mosquitoes in no time.

Contact us today so that we can help humanely relocate any bats that may have found their way into your home or commercial space.

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