E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Myotis volans (H. Allen)
Hairy Winged Bat; Long-Legged Bat; Long-Legged Myotis
Family: Vespertilionidae
Species account authors: David Nagorsen and Mark Brigham.
Extracted from the Bats of British Columbia
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Distribution of Myotis volans in British Columbia
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The information provided below is extracted from the Bats of British Columbia, and may be dated. Check the status section below for current status information.

Species Information

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Illustration Source: Bats of British Columbia by David Nagorsen and Mark Brigham © Royal BC Museum

The Long-legged Myotis is one of the largest Myotis species in British Columbia. Its fur colour varies from reddish brown to nearly black. The hair on its belly extends to the undersides of the wing membranes as far as the knees and elbows. The ears are rounded and barely reach the nose when pushed forward; the tragus is long and narrow. A prominent keel is present on the calcar. The skull is characterized by a relatively broad interorbital region and a steep forehead with a highly elevated brain-case.


In British Columbia there are three bats with prominently keeled calcars that could be confused with the Long-legged Myotis: the Western Small-footed Myotis (Myotis ciliolabrum), the California Myotis (Myotis californicus) and the Big Brown Bat (Eptesicus fuscus). The Western Small-footed Myotis and California Myotis can be distinguished by their smaller size (forearm less than 35 mm). The Big Brown Bat has a larger forearm (41-52 mm) than the Long-legged Myotis and lacks fur on its underside from knee to elbow. The skull of the Long-legged Myotis can be discriminated from that of other Myotis bats by the relatively broad interorbital area (the ratio of the interorbital to the upper toothrow distances is greater than 0.7 mm) and the strongly elevated brain-case.

Dental Formula

incisors: 2/3
canines: 1/1
premolars: 2/3
molars: 3/3


total length: 94 (83-105) n = 33
tail vertebrae: 43 (37-54) n = 33
hind foot: 9 (7-10) n = 31
ear: 12 (9-15) n = 22
tragus: 6 (5-7) n = 17
forearm: 38.3 (34.0-43.0) n = 46
wingspan: 253 (215-272) n = 25
weight: 7.2 (5.5-10.0) n = 18



Mating begins in late August or September before the bats enter hibernation. In Alberta, some males breed in their first autumn. The age of sexual maturity for females is unknown; mature females produce a single young. Reproductive data for the province are scanty. Pregnant females have been collected from 23 May to 18 July and nursing females from 25 June to 8 August, suggesting that young are born in late June and July. Recoveries of banded individuals indicate that this mammal can live at least 21 years in the wild.

The Long-legged Myotis emerges around dusk and remains active most of the night, even on cool nights-it is relatively tolerant of cold temperatures. This bat is an opportunistic hunter that takes aerial prey over water, forest clearings, among trees and above the forest canopy. Research in Alberta suggests that it prefers to hunt along the edges of tree groves and cliff faces. About 75% of its diet is moths; it also eats termites, spiders, flies, beetles, leafhoppers and lacewings.
Natural History

In the western United States this bat uses buildings, crevices in rock cliffs, fissures in the ground and the bark of trees for summer day roosts. Maternity colonies are situated in attics, fissures in the ground and under the bark of a trees. In southern Alberta, maternity colonies have been found in the crevices of hoodoos. Only two maternity colonies have been found in British Columbia. One was a small colony in the attic of a house on Vancouver Island; the other was a large colony of some 300 individuals that was situated in an old barn near Williams Lake. The only information on summer roosts for males in British Columbia consists of one found in the crack of a dead poplar tree in the Kispiox Valley in July and a juvenile observed among a Yuma Myotis maternity colony in the attic of a church near Squilax in August. Caves and abandoned mine tunnels are exploited for night roosts.

There are no winter records of the Long-legged Myotis for the province. In adjacent regions (Alberta, Washington and Montana), it hibernates in caves and mines. At Cadomin and Wapiabi caves in central Alberta, swarming begins in mid August and by late September most individuals are hibernating. Evidently the Long-legged Myotis hibernates in small clusters. No specific information is available on the environmental conditions required for hibernation.


In British Columbia, the Long-legged Myotis inhabits arid range lands of the interior and humid coastal and montane forests. It ranges from sea level on the coast to 1037 metres elevation in Mount Revelstoke National Park.


The Long-legged Myotis inhabits western North America from Mexico to southeastern Alaska and western Canada. In coastal British Columbia, it is found on Vancouver Island and the coastal mainland around Vancouver. In the interior, there are records as far north as the Kispiox Valley and Atlin; the eastern limits of the British Columbia range are Cranbrook and Mount Revelstoke National Park.


All of the British Columbian populations belong to the subspecies M.v. longicrus, a race that inhabits the Pacific coast of the United States and western Canada.


Although it is one of the more widespread bat species in British Columbia, little is known about the basic biology of the Long-legged Myotis.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS4S5YellowNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2023-05-29 5:12:05 AM]
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