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Fragile Legacy


Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota


Fringe-tailed Myotis (Myotis thysanodes pahasapensis)


JPG--species photo species distribution map
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Status: State Rare

Description: This subspecies is distinguished as a distinct subspecies of M. thysanodes by its larger ears, shorter forearms and smaller, narrower skull. It has large ears ( 1 inch, 16-20 mm) and a wingspread of 10.4-11.8 inches (265-300 mm). The fringe-tailed myotis has reddish to dark brown fur on its back and is paler underneath. This is the only myotis with a conspicuous fringe of hairs along the back edge of the interfemoral membrane (bottom of wing).

Habitat and Habits: This species is a year-round Black Hills resident that roosts during the day in caves, mines and buildings. It is active from April through September. Puncture-resistant wings protect this bat while it feeds on insects on the ground or near thick or thorny vegetation. Females gather in large maternity colonies, producing one young per year in June or July after a 5060 day gestation. Maternity colonies may be located in caves, mines or buildings. During the winter, this colonial species hibernates in mines and caves in the Black Hills.

Distribution: This subspecies of fringe- tailed bat occurs only in certain montane (mountainous) areas of South Dakota and Wyoming. In South Dakota, it occurs primarily in caves in the Black Hills and Badlands. It has been reported from Custer, Fall River and Pennington Counties.

Conservation Measures: Bats are our only flying mammals. Many species have declined because of direct persecution by humans, disturbance to maternity and hibernation areas and the effects of insecticide poisoning. Continued enlight- enment on the many ecological values of bats is needed; values that include insect control, pollination and seed dispersal. Bat research has aided in the development of vaccines, drug testing, birth control and artificial insemination techniques and many other breakthroughs that have improved the human "quality of life".

This subspecies of fringe-tailed myotis is found only in the Black Hills. Inventories are needed to identify areas inhabited by this species. Posting and access restriction may be necessary to assure this unique bat's protection.


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