Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by J. Scott Altenbach,
Photo Copyright Bat Photography LLC

The big free-tailed bat, Nyctinomops macrotis, occurs in the western United States, as well as in much of Latin America. The species is rare in Utah, occurring primarily in the southern half of the state, although individuals may rarely occur in northern Utah.

The big free-tailed bat prefers rocky and woodland habitats, where roosting occurs in caves, mines, old buildings, and rock crevices. The species is typically active year-round, spending summers in temperate North America and migrating to warmer areas in North America and South America for the winter. Big free-tailed bats eat insects, primarily moths. Females may give birth to a single offspring during late spring or early summer each year.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.