Brazilian free-tailed bat


Brazilian free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)


Total Length

3.5 to 4.5 inches  (8.8-11.4 cm)


11 to 14 grams


11.4 to 12 inches (29-30.4 cm)

Back fur color

Dark brown to grayish brown

Belly fur color

Slightly lighter  


Small and blunt

Distinguishing characteristics

Broad black ears, tail extends past membrane, strong odor   

Roost Pattern

Large clusters  















  • Found in caves, buildings and other man-made structures
  • Females tend to use attics for maternity roost, high temperatures are essential for growth of young bats.

Food Habits

  • Usually emerges just before dark  
  • Feed on flying insects such as moths, flying ants, and beetles  
  • Rapid flight when foraging, similar to a swift, and feed at 50 feet (15 m) or more above the ground.    


  • Southeastern Unites States from Virginia to central Florida, west to eastern Texas and eastern Arkansas and Missouri through Tennessee and Kentucky into southern Indiana and eastern Illinois.


 Range Map from Tennessee Bat Working Group


  • Mating occurs in late winter
  • Young born in June   
  • Litter size 1 pup
  • Young able to fly at 5 weeks of age
  • Maternity colonies can vary from a hundreds individuals to thousands individuals