Only time for a picture-of-the-day today, and this neat picture shows an Eastern red bat Lasiurus borealis, a mid-sized vesper bat (wingspan c. 300 mm) that occurs across most of eastern North America, some of northern South America, and parts of the Caribbean (in 2004 an individual was reported from north-east Alberta, which I presume is the northern-most record for this species). Eastern red bats are sexually dimorphic: females have grey frosting on their light brown fur while males are entirely red (this is a female). They are insectivorous, nomadic, migratory bats that roost individually in trees (though they will use cover right down at ground level). One particularly interesting thing they’ve been shown to do is eavesdrop on other red bats, and they’re attracted to the final buzzes that members of their own species make when closing in on insect prey.
This picture was staged: the bat was collected from sleep during fieldwork and has been hung up on the tree for the photo. I really like the image for a few reasons. Firstly, the pretty colours on L. borealis help to emphasise the point that bats aren’t all dark brown, grey or blackish. Secondly, the bat looks freaky weird: sort of like a little winged sloth. I also really like what it’s doing with its patagium and third finger. Thirdly, the bat looks cute. The photo was taken during fieldwork by ace biologist Anne-Marie of the excellent Pondering Pikaia, and is used with her permission.
On that note, I’m going away again. I’m going to leave the comments open again, so have fun until I’m back. Bye!