Photo Credit: Dan Neubaum

Canyon bat

Parastrellus hesperus

Order: Chiroptera

Suborder: Yangochiroptera

Family: Vespertilionidae

Call characteristics:

High frequency caller (45 kHz range)

Body Length

2 2/5 - 3 1/5 in

(6.2 – 8 cm)


  1/10 - 1/5 oz

(3 - 6 g)

The canyon bat, formerly known as the western pipistrelle, is the smallest bat in the U.S. Canyon bats have short, broad faces and white to yellow fur that contrasts starkly against their black ears, face, and wings. Preferred habitat includes deserts, woodlands, and shrublands from western Mexico north to Washington and as far east as central Oklahoma and west Texas. Small maternity colonies have been reported, but solitary females are also common. The species roosts primarily in rock crevices, and females typically give birth to twins. Canyon bats are capable of extremely slow flight, which has been described as butterfly-like. Diet includes moths, beetles, and flies.

Conservation Status

Canada Species at Risk


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 (left). 


Photo Credit: Alan Harper




NABat utilizes monitoring data provided by a broad network of partners to support regional and range-wide inferences about changes in the distributions and abundances of bat populations facing current and emerging threats.

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.