2008 SOUTHEASTERN NATURALIST 7(4):619–626
Noteworthy Records of Bats from Central Georgia
Michael J. Bender1 and Dennis Parmley2,*
Abstract - On the basis of published records, 16 bat species occur in Georgia. Of
these, only one species is documented from Baldwin County in central Georgia, but
records from surrounding counties suggest the likelihood of additional species inhabiting
the county. On the basis of museum specimens in the mammal collection of
Georgia College and State University, we report seven species of bats inhabiting the
county: Perimyotis subfl avus (Eastern Pipistrelle), Nycticeius humeralis (Evening
Bat), Lasiurus borealis (Red Bat), Lasiurus seminolus (Seminole Bat), Eptesicus
fuscus (Big Brown Bat), Myotis austroriparius (Southeastern Myotis), and Tadarida
brasiliensis (Brazilian Free-tailed Bat). With the exception of the Brazilian Freetailed
Bat, the specimens represent first records from Baldwin County. Moreover, the
records significantly add to the general baseline information of species richness and
distribution of bats in central Georgia, and they help fill distribution gaps in this part
of the southeastern United States.
A recent synthesis of bat records from Georgia by Menzel et al. (2000)
documented 16 species occurring in the state, but also illustrates the paucity
of information about the distribution of bats throughout the state. Menzel et
al. (2000) stated that intense bat surveys are lacking for most of Georgia.
This lack of sampling effort has resulted in state range maps for some species
based on incomplete data. In certain areas of the state, ranges for many
chiropteran species can be inferred only from their documented presence in
neighboring counties. For example, based on data from Menzel et al. (2000),
one geographic area in critical need of sampling effort is the central portion
of the state, including Baldwin County.
Georgia is subdivided into at least six physiographic provinces (Wharton
1978; also see Fig. 1 of Menzel et al. 2000). The vegetational, and to
some degree, faunal aspects of the state’s provinces are detailed by Wharton
(1978). Baldwin County is centrally located and uniquely positioned with
the Fall Line separating the Piedmont in approximately the northern twothirds
of the county and the Upper Coastal Plain in the southern one-third
(Fig. 1). This geographic range suggests that the county potentially hosts a
diverse assemblage of bat species due to the convergence of taxa typically
found in either the Coastal Plain or the Piedmont province. Nonetheless,
Menzel et al. (2000) documented only one bat species from the county,
Tadarida brasiliensis (I. Geoffroy) (Brazilian Free-tailed Bat). These same
1D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia,
Athens, GA 30602. 2Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Georgia
College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061. *Corresponding author - dennis.
620 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 7, No. 4
records indicated the likelihood of several additional species inhabiting the
county based on their documented presence in or near the central Georgia
area. Due to a lack of sampling effort, however, the bat species richness of
Baldwin County has not been documented on the basis of voucher specimens.
We document seven bat species from this central Georgia county on
the basis of museum specimens.
Methods and Materials
The accounts given here are based on unpublished museum records of bat
specimens cataloged in the Georgia College and State University Collection
of Recent Mammals (GCM; specimens listed in Appendix I) and any field
notes that accompanied the specimens. Sex of specimens was determined by
the presence or absence of a conspicuous penis (Racey 1988), and age was
determined by backlighting the wing and observing the level of epiphysealdiaphyseal
fusion (Anthony 1988). The taxonomy used here generally
follows that of Baker et al. (2003).
Order Chiroptera Blumenbach
Family Vespertilionidae Gray
Eptesicus fuscus (Beauvois) (Big Brown Bat). The Big Brown Bat is
widely distributed in Georgia and most of the United States, with previous
Georgia records mainly from the Upper Piedmont/Appalachian Highlands
and Lower Coastal Plain (Golley 1962, Menzel et al. 2000). Menzel et al.
(2000) documented the species from two central Georgia counties (Jones and
Figure 1. Location of
Baldwin County in relation
to the Piedmont
and Coastal Plain physiographic
(modified from Wharton
1978 and Menzel et
2008 M.J. Bender and D. Parmley 621
Bibb). GCM holdings of this taxon include 17 specimens (6 adult males, 9
adult females, 2 juvenile females). Most of the specimens were collected
during mid-summer to early fall months (June through October) over ponds
in mixed pine-deciduous woodlands, but a few individuals came from buildings
that were being used as summer roosts: an outbuilding located in a
mixed pine-deciduous habitat approximately 13 km west of Milledgeville,
and the roof eaves of an apartment complex in Milledgeville located along
the shore of Lake Sinclair.
Lasiurus seminolus (Rhoads) (Seminole Bat). Golley (1962) indicated
that the range of the Seminole Bat is “probably statewide except for
the mountain region.” Menzel et al. (2000) state that the Seminole Bat is
predominantly found in the Upper and Lower Coastal Plain provinces in
Georgia (south of the Fall Line). The species previously has been documented
from only two central Georgia counties (Washington and Peach; Menzel
et al. 2000). Only three individuals are represented in the GCM collections
(1 adult male, 1 adult female, 1 adult of unknown sex). The specimens were
collected in the summer and fall (late July and early October) over three
separate pond sites located a few km apart. In all cases, the ponds were located
in livestock pasturelands surrounded by scattered woodlots of mixed
pine and deciduous trees.
Lasiurus borealis (Müller) (Eastern Red Bat). Records of the Eastern
Red Bat in Georgia are scattered across the state, but mainly are from
the northern one-third and southern one-third of the state (Golley 1962,
Menzel et al. 2000). The species has been documented previously from
three central Georgia counties (Jones, Bibb, and Hancock; Menzel et
al. 2000). Fourteen specimens of the Eastern Red Bat are represented in
the GCM collections (8 adult males, 5 adult females, 1 juvenile male).
All specimens were collected during mid-summer and fall months (June
to October) over ponds situated in pasturelands with surrounding mixed
Nycticeius humeralis (Rafinesque) (Evening Bat). The distribution of
this species probably is statewide, but lack of sampling effort leaves many
gaps in the Georgia distribution of the species (Golley 1962, Menzel et al.
2000), especially across the central portion of the state. Most documented
records of this species in Georgia are from the Upper Piedmont and Lower
Coastal Plain (Menzel et al. 2000). Although previously unrecorded in Baldwin
County, it has been documented from two surrounding central Georgia
counties (Putman and Warren; Menzel et al. 2000). The Evening Bat is the
most common bat in the GCM collections, with 21 individuals from summer,
fall, and mid-winter (June to February) collections (8 adult males, 12
adult females, 1 unsexed juvenile). The GCM specimens collected during
summer months came from diurnal roosts in residences and outbuildings, or
were collected while foraging over ponds at night. Although this bat is often
abundant in its range, very little is known concerning many aspects of its life
history (Barbour and Davis 1969). Little, for example, is known about the
622 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 7, No. 4
winter roosting habits of this species (e.g., Barbour and Davis 1969; Menzel
et al. 2000, 2003; Whitaker and Hamilton 1998), especially in the southeast
United States (e.g., Menzel et al. 2000, 2003). In fact, Menzel et al. (2000,
see Table 2) did not list a single record of a winter roost in Georgia for this
species, but Bain (1981) documented the species using buildings as winter
roosts in Florida. Hand capture of three individuals in two separate occupied
residences in Milledgeville during February indicated that this species will
utilize urban houses in this area of the state.
Perimyotis subfl avus (F. Cuvier) (Eastern Pipistrelle; use of the genus
Perimyotis instead of Pipistrellus follows Menu 1984 and Hoofer and Van
den Bussche 2003). Golley (1962) and Menzel et al. (2000) list the Georgia
distribution of this species as statewide. However, most documented records
of the Eastern Pipistrelle in the state are from the Appalachian Highlands/
Blue Ridge/uppermost Piedmont of north Georgia and the southern extent of
the Upper and Lower Coastal Plain provinces. Only two counties in central
Georgia (Washington and Emanuel; Golley 1962, Menzel et al. 2000) have
recorded specimens of this species. This species is represented in the GCM
collections by 16 individuals (2 adult males, 8 adult females, 1 juvenile
male, 2 juvenile females, 3 adults of unknown sex). Specimens were collected
during summer to fall months (July to October) either over ponds
situated in pasturelands with associated mixed pine-deciduous woodlands,
or over grass fields bordered by woodlands.
Myotis austroriparius (Rhoads) (Southeastern Myotis). While two
records of the southeastern myotis are known from the Piedmont (north of
the Fall Line) and one is known from the Upper Coastal Plain in Washington
County (immediately south of Baldwin County), most records of this species
are from the southern extent of the Upper Coastal Plain and Lower Coastal
Plain of the state (Menzel et al. 2000). The roosting habits of this bat are not
well known in Georgia, but the species is known to use buildings as summer
roosts (see Table 2 of Menzel et al. 2000). The Baldwin County specimen
was using a wooden window shutter of a Milledgeville residence as a diurnal
summer roost. The individual was washed from underneath the shutter in
July 2007 during house maintenance.
Family Molossidae Gervais, in de Castlenau
Tadarida brasiliensis (I. Geoffroy) (Brazilian Free-tailed Bat).
The Brazilian Free-tailed Bat has been documented predominantly from
the Upper and Lower Coastal Plain provinces of Georgia (Menzel et al.
2000). Golley (1962) noted that erratic individuals might account for
specimens recorded from areas outside of the Coastal Plain provinces.
Three counties in the central Georgia area, including Baldwin County,
have recorded specimens of the Brazilian Free-tailed Bat (Washington
and Bibb; Menzel et al. 2000). There are two individuals of this bat in
the GCM collections (1 adult male and 1 adult female) from two different
diurnal roosts located in buildings. In both cases, the roosts were simultaneously
inhabited by Big Brown Bats.
2008 M.J. Bender and D. Parmley 623
Results and Discussion
Two families, six genera, and seven species of chiropterans from Baldwin
County are represented in the GCM collections. With the exception of
Brazilian Free-tailed Bat, these are first records for Baldwin County. These
records add significantly to the general baseline knowledge of bat species
richness in central Georgia, and they help fill in distribution gaps of these
species in this area of the southeastern United States. Additionally, winter
captures of Evening Bats from occupied urban residences add to the known
winter roosting requirements of this common species. The need for further
research in the central Georgia area is, however, still high. Intense surveys
of many of the surrounding counties are needed to fully understand the
composition of the bat community in this area of the state. Moreover, much
work concerning roosting habitats, foraging, and reproduction is necessary
to properly manage bat populations in Georgia. In short, bat research in this
area of the state is in its initial stages, with much work yet to be completed.
Moreover, the possible presence of additional species in the central Georgia
area should not be ruled out. For example, Lasionycteris noctivagans
(LeConte) (Silver-haired Bat) is not documented from Baldwin County.
This monotypic species probably reaches the southern extent of its Georgia
range along the Fall Line (Kunz 1982), which suggests it could be present
in Baldwin County. As noted by Menzel et al. (2000, and references within),
it is a migratory species that is probably rare in Georgia during the summer
months; thus, its apparent absence in Baldwin County may be attributed to a
lack of sampling effort.
We thank L. Chandler for reviewing and improving an earlier draft of this manuscript,
and the many GCSU biology students who helped with various bat-related
field projects. All voucher specimens added to the GCM collections during the tenor
of the junior author were done so under the guidelines of a Georgia Department of
Natural Resources (Wildlife Resources Division) collecting permit.
Anthony, E.L.P. 1988. Age determination in bats. Pp. 47–58, In T.H. Kunz (Ed.).
Ecological and Behavioral Methods for the Study of Bats. Smithsonian Institute
Press, Washington, DC.
Bain, J.R. 1981. Roosting ecology of three Florida bats: Nycticeius humeralis, Myotis
austroriparius, and Tadarida brasiliensis. M.Sc. Thesis. University of Florida,
Gainesville, FL. 131 pp.
Baker, J.B., L.C. Bradley, R.D. Bradley, J.W. Dragoo, M.D. Engstrom, R.S. Hoffmann,
C.A. Jones, F. Reid, D.W. Rice, and C. Jones. 2003. Revised checklist of
North American mammals north of Mexico, 2003. Occasional Papers, Museum
of Texas Tech University 229:1–23.
Barbour, R.W., and W.H. Davis. 1969. Bats of America. University Press of Kentucky,
Lexington, KY. 286 pp.
624 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 7, No. 4
Golley, F.F. 1962. Mammals of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA,
Hoofer, S.R., and R.A. Van Den Bussche. 2003. Molecular phylogenetics of the chiropteran
family Vespertilionidae. Acta Chiropterologica 5 (supplement):1–63.
Kunz, T.H. 1982. Lasionycteris noctivagans. Mammalian Species 172:1–5.
Menu, H. 1984. Revision du statut de Pipistrellus subfl avus (f. Cuvier, 1832) Proposition
d’un taxon generique nouveau : Perimyotis nov. gen. Mammalia 48:409–
Menzel, M.A., B.R. Chapman, W.M. Ford, J.M. Menzel, and J. Laerm. 2000. A review
of the distribution and roosting ecology of bats in Georgia. Georgia Journal
of Science 58:143–179.
Menzel, J.M., M.A. Menzel, W.M. Ford, J.W. Edwards, S.R. Sheffield, J.C. Kilgo,
and M.S. Bunch. 2003. The distribution of the bats of South Carolina. Southeastern
Racey, P.A. 1988. Reproductive assessment in bats. Pp. 31–45, In T.H. Kunz (Ed.).
Ecological and Behavioral Methods for the Study of Bats. Smithsonian Institute
Press, Washington, DC.
Wharton, C.H. 1978. The Natural Environments of Georgia. Georgia Department of
Natural Resources Bulletin 114:1–227.
Whitaker, J.O., and W.J. Hamilton. 1998. The Mammals of the Eastern United States.
Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, NY. 432 pp.
2008 M.J. Bender and D. Parmley 625
Appendix I. Georgia College and State University museum specimens (GCM) of
bats from Baldwin County, GA. Distances in kilometers (km) are in reference to the
Milledgeville, GA Post Office. Abbreviations include: F = female, M = male, Ad =
adult, and Juv = juvenile. Order of reporting is: km and compass direction, GPS; collection
date, GCM catalog number, age, and sex (if known).
Eptesicus fuscus – Total of 17 specimens. 14 km W, 33.05768ºN, 83.37483ºW;
June18, 2004 : GCM 2244 Ad F, GCM 2245 Ad F, GCM 2246 Ad F, GCM 2247 Ad
M, GCM 1931 Juv F. 6.9 km N, 33.14174ºN, 83.24289ºW; July 06, 2004: GCM 2248
Ad F, GCM 2249 Ad M, GCM 1930 Juv F. 3.4 km W, 33.10829ºN, 83.24286ºW;
July 20, 2004: GCM 2250 Ad M. 5.8 km N, 33.13375ºN, 83.22460ºW; August 30,
2004: GCM 2251 Ad F, GCM 2252 Ad F, GCM 2253 Ad M. 9.5 km SW, 33.04188ºN,
83.31617ºW; September 10, 2004: GCM 2254 Ad. F, GCM 2255 Ad F. 6.4 km
SE, 33.05145ºN, 83.16771ºW; September 18, 2004: GCM 2256 Ad M. 3.2 km N,
33.10817ºN, 83.21315ºW; October 11, 2004: GCM 2257 Ad F, GCM 2258 Ad M.
Lasiurus borealis – Total of 14 specimens. 5.93 km E, 33.12292ºN, 83.18593ºW;
July 31, 2004: GCM 2259 Ad M, GCM 2260 Ad M, September 28, 2004: GCM
2261 Ad F, GCM 2262 Ad F, GCM 2263 Ad F, GCM 2264 Ad M. 5.2 km E,
33.11894ºN, 83.19209ºW; August 01, 2004: GCM 2265 Ad F, GCM 2266 Ad M. 9.6
km E, 33.15821ºN, 83.27372ºW; September 23, 2004: GCM 2267 Ad M. 3.2 km N,
33.10817ºN, 83.21315ºW; October 11, 2004: GCM 2268 Ad F, GCM 2269 Ad M,
GCM 1925 Ad M, October 28, 2004: GCM 2270 Juv M. 13.4 km W, 33.06230ºN,
83.36843ºW; October 27, 2004: GCM 2271 Ad M.
Lasiurus seminolius – Total of 3 specimens. 5.9 km E, 33.12292ºN, 83.18593ºW;
July 31, 2004: GCM 2272 Ad ?. 5.2 km E, 33.11894ºN, 83.19209ºW; July 30, 2004:
GCM 1928 Ad M. 3.2 km N, 33.10817ºN, 83.21315ºW; October 11, 2004: GCM
1929 Ad F.
Nycticeius humeralis – Total of 21 specimens. 0.3 km W, 33.08428ºN, 83.22718ºW;
June 16, 2004: GCM 2273 Ad, GCM 2274 Juv ?. 3.4 km W; 33.10829ºN, 83.24286ºW;
July 20, 2004: GCM 2275 Ad M, August 30, 2004: GCM 2276 Ad M. 0.6 km. S,
33.07829ºN, 83.23155ºW; February 22, 2005: GCM 2277 Ad F, February 25, 2005:
GCM 2278 Ad. F. 0.6 km W, 33.07926ºN, 83.23194W; February 24, 2005: GCM
1932 Ad M. 9.6 km. E, 33.15821ºN, 83.27372ºW; July 13, 2004: GCM 2279 Ad F,
GCM 2280 Ad F. 13.4 km W, 33.06230ºN, 83.36843ºW; July 17, 2004: GCM 2281
Ad F. 5.2 km E, 33.11894ºN, 83.19209ºW; July 30, 2004: GCM 2282 Ad F, August
01, 2004: GCM 2283 Ad F, GCM 2284 Ad M. 9.4 km SW, 33.04188Nº, 83.31617ºW;
August 31, 2004: GCM 2285 Ad F, GCM 2286 Ad M, September 10, 2004: GCM
2287 Ad M, September 20, 2004: GCM 2288 Ad M, September 21, 2004: GCM 2289
Ad F. 6.4 km SE, 33.05145ºN, 83.16771ºW; September 26, 2004: GCM 2290 Ad M.
3.2 km N, 33.10817ºN, 83.21315ºW; October 11, 2004: GCM 2291 Ad F, October
28, 2004: GCM 2292 Ad F.
Perimyotis subfl avus – Total of 16 specimens. 9.6 km E, 33.15821ºN, 83.27372ºW;
July 07, 2004: GCM 2293 Ad F, July 15, 2004: GCM 2294 Ad M, GCM 2295 Juv F,
GCM 2296 Ad M. 13.4 km W, 33.06230ºN, 83.36843ºW; July 17, 2004: GCM 2297
Ad F. 5.2 km E, 33.11894ºN, 83.19209ºW; July 30, 2004: GCM 1927 Juv F, GCM
2298 Juv M, August 01, 2004: GCM 2299 Ad F. 5.9 km E, 33.12292ºN, 83.18593ºW;
626 Southeastern Naturalist Vol. 7, No. 4
September 28, 2004: GCM 2300 Ad ?. 9.4 km SW, 33.04188ºN, 83.31617ºW; August
31, 2004: GCM 2301 Ad ?, GCM 2302 Ad F, September 21, 2004: GCM 2303 Ad ?,
GCM 2304 Ad F. 6.4 km SE, 33.05145ºN, 83.16771ºW; September 18, 2004: GCM
2305 Ad F. 3.2 km N, 33.10817ºN, 83.21315ºW; October 28, 2004: GCM 2306 Ad
F, GCM 2307 Ad F.
Myotis austroriparius –Total of one specimen. 0.6 km N, 33.13375ºN, 83.22460ºW;
July 16, 2007: GCM 2308 Ad. M.
Tadarida brasiliensis – Total of two specimens. 14.1 km W, 33.05768ºN,
83.37483ºW; June18, 2004: GCM 2309 Ad M. 6.9 km N, 33.14174ºN, 83.24289ºW;
July 06, 2004: GCM 1926 Ad F.