Rafinesque's Big-eared Bat
- Scientific Name: Corynorhinus rafinesquii
- Weight: 8-14 grams
- Wingspan: 26-30centimeters
- Distribution: Southeastern United States
- Ecology and Behavior: The least known of all the bats in the eastern United States. In the northern part of its range, it hibernates in caves, mines and similar habitats including cisterns and wells. In contrast, Rafinesque’s big- eared bats usually are not found in caves during winter in the more southern parts of their range. Maternity colonies are found more rarely in caves and mines. Males generally are solitary during summer, roosting in buildings or hollow trees. When approached in summer, these bats are immediately alerted and begin to wave their ears, apparently trying to keep track of the intruder. This species and the tri-colored bat choose more open and lighted day roosts than other kinds of bats. Both species commonly hang in the open in plain sight. Rafinesque’s big-eared bats emerge late in the evening to forage; apparently it does not forage at twilight. Its flight is remarkably agile.
- Food Habits: Probably eats moths and other night flying insects.
- Reproduction: Mating probably occurs in autumn and winter. One young is born in late May or early June in the northern part of their range and about mid- May in the South. The young shed their milk teeth in mid-July and reach adult size by August or early September.
- Status of Populations: Uncommon over most of its range.
The presence of species in particular counties is based on both summer and winter occurrence records compiled by the TNBWG, an unshaded county does not represent the absence of a particular species from that county, only the lack of an occurrence record. These maps are intended for educational and general information purposes only and are not intended for use in consultation with US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) or any other state or federal agencies. Project proponents should contact USFWS and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for the most up to date ranges for bat species in Tennessee.
Range Map Data Sources
National bat ranges - Layer downloaded from nationalatlas.gov. The data were compiled by Bat Conservation International using data from state natural heritage programs, published literature, unpublished reports, museum collections, and personal communications from university, Federal, State, and local biologists.
TN county occurrence data - TWRA Scientific Collection Permit data compiled from 2000-2013, TWRA Wildlife Diversity database, published literature [Graves and Harvey 1974. (Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences 49:106-109)], personal communications from university, Federal, State, local biologists, and TNBWG members.