happiest bat, tri-colored bat, Perimyotis subflavus (2)

photo: S. Dobbyn

Habitat: widely distributed throughout the eastern parts of North America, ranging west until Kansas and Texas, from Honduras up north until southern Ontario
Status: Least Concern
happiest bat, tricolored bat, Perimyotis subflavus (1)

No one is exactly sure why this bat, the Tricolored or Eastern Pipestrelle (Perimyotis subflavus), as it is otherwise known,  is so damn happy. However, it can readily be established that its happy, smiling face earns it the title of world’s happiest bat – and also the cutest! Though Honduran White Tent Bats will always have a special place in my heart, too…

These little cuties weigh between 4 to 10 g and reach lengths of between 30 to 35  mm. To maintain their adorable and tiny appearance, these guys have to eat lots of insects. They can catch insects as much as every 2 seconds and thereby increase their mass by 25% in only half an hour! The way they catch their prey is interesting, too. Instead of just gobbling up stray bugs with their mouths (as you might think), they actually use their tail or wing membranes almost like nets, engulfing the insects and trapping them in their folded membrane “pouches.” Then they just bend their heads down and eat their treats!

Before I finish this post, I just have to zoom in on that bat’s face in the last photo. Freaking HAPPIEST BAT on the planet!

happiest bat, tri-colored bat, Perimyotis subflavus (1)

photo: S. Dobbyn