Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America

Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis)

Indiana bat. Credit: USFWS

Indiana bat. Credit: USFWS

Federal Status: Endangered, March 11, 1967

Description: The Indiana bat is a medium-sized bat, with a forearm length of 1.4 – 1.6 inches (in) (3.6 – 4.1 centimeters; cm). The head and body length ranges from 1.6 – 1.9 in (4.1 – 4.8 cm). The species closely resembles the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis). Its hind feet tend to be small and delicate with fewer, shorter hairs than other bats of the Myotis genus. The fur lacks luster. The ears and wing membranes have a dull appearance and flat coloration that does not contrast with the fur. The fur of the chest and belly is lighter than the pinkish-brown fur on the back, but does not contrast as strongly as does that of the little brown or northern long-eared bats.

Habitat: Indiana bats winter in caves or mines with stable, but not freezing, cold temperatures. In summer they generally roost in the loose bark of trees, either dead trees with peeling bark, or live trees with shaggy bark, such as white oak and some hickories.

Distribution: The Indiana bat is a migratory species found throughout much of the eastern United States.

Threats: The largest reason for the species’ decline is human visitation of hibernation sites, which stirs the bats, forcing them to use up valuable fat stores intended to nourish them through the winter. Other threats come from cave vandalism and improper cave gating and other structures that can change the flow of air in and out of the cave and block bat passage.

Critical Habitat: Critical Habitat for the Indiana Bat was designated on September 24, 1976. For specific information on areas designated as Critical Habitat and the primary constituent elements defined for this species, please refer to the Federal Register notice (41 FR 41914).


LeGrand, Jr., H.E., J.T. Finnegan, S.E. McRae, S.P. Hall. 2010. Natural Heritage Program List of the Rare Animal Species of North Carolina. N.C. Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh, NC.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2007. Indiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) Draft Recovery Plan: First Revision. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Snelling, MN. 258 pp.

For More Information on Indiana bat...

Species Contact:

Sue Cameron, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, 828-258-3939 ext. 224

Species profile revised on October 4, 2011.

Last Updated: August 24, 2017