Mexican Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)

These bats are found in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and into northern South America. They are usually red, dark brown, or even gray in color and get to a size of around 3.5 inches long. They live in enormous colonies with the largest located in Texas numbering around 20 million individuals. These bats are considered to be one of the most, if not the most, social mammal on the planet. They prefer to live in caves but will roost in abandoned buildings or under bridges if it is the prime area.

These animals migrate south every winter and they return in the spring to mate and rear their young. They mate in the spring and will give birth to one baby in mid-summer. The babies will roost away from mom in the highest, warmest areas of the cave. The moms will have to go and find their baby among the thousands that are there.

Mexican free-tails are insectivores that will eat moths and any other type of insect that is available. They like to roost near water because of the abundance of insects near water. Their main predators are birds of prey unless another predator comes across one that has fallen from their roost.

Houston Texas Area Bat Species