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Photo credit: Rachel Shively

Tadarida brasiliensis

Order: Chiroptera

Suborder: Yangochiroptera

Family: Mollosidae

Call characteristics:

High frequency caller (~25 kHz range)


  1/4 - 1/5 oz

(7 - 12 g)

Body Length

3 - 4 in

(7.9 – 9.8 cm)

There are various sources for bat species range maps including IUCN, NatureServe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ECOS, and the National Atlas of the United States

Brazilian Free-tailed Bat

Brazilian Free-tailed Bat

Brazilian free-tailed bats are named for the long tails that extend beyond their uropatagium (membrane surrounding the tail). Like other species of the family Molossidae, Brazilian free-tailed bats have distinctive large, rounded ears that form a semicircle around the face and nearly meet on the forehead. They are a fast flying bat and have been clocked at speeds up to 60 mph. This species is know for its extremely large colonies;  the largest, Bracken Cave, is home to more than 15 million individuals. Brazilian free-tailed bats commonly roost in caves, bridges, and buildings. They are generalist feeders, preying on moths, beetles, flies, and insects in the order Hemiptera. Females typically give birth to a single pup each summer. The average lifespan of Brazilian free-tailed bats is 8 years.

Information used to populate this page was obtained from the following sources:
NatureServe Explorer
United States Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Conservation Online System
Bat Conservation International Bat Profiles
National Atlas of the United States. (2011). North American Bat Ranges, 1830-2008. National Atlas of the United States. Available at:
Taylor, M. 2019. Bats: an illustrated guide to all species. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.

Conservation Status

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