Indiana bat
Myotis sodalis
ITIS Species Code:   180001         NatureServ Element Code:   AMACC01100
NatureServe Global Rank: 
NatureServe State (NC) Rank: 
Federal Status: 
NC State Status: 
Land Unit

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Forest Service
US National Park Service
US Department of Defense
NC State Parks
NC University System
NC Wildlife Res. Com.
NC Forest Service
NC Div. of Coastal Mgmt.
Local Governments
Non-Governmental Org.
Other Public Lands
Private Lands

GAP Status 1-2
All Protected Lands




% of Dist. on
Prot. Lands

0.0 %
53.0 %
0.0 %
37.7 %
1.1 %
0.0 %
5.2 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.3 %
0.3 %
0.0 %
0.0 %

50.6 %
% of Dist. on
All Lands

0.0 %
17.8 %
< 0.1 %
12.6 %
0.4 %
0.0 %
1.7 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.9 %
0.2 %
0.0 %
66.4 %

16.9 %
A handful of records from the western North Carolina mountains, indicates the rarity of this bat in the state (Lee et al. 1982).

Colonies of these bats roost in clusters among neighboring and nearby mature trees of densely to sparsely stocked forest stands (Whitaker and Hamilton 1998). Roost trees may also be isolated in pastures, in other open areas, or in flooded conditions. They commonly roost under tree bark, or in crevasses or cavities of trees, apparently preferring the loose bark of dead trees.


Hibernates in caves; maternity sites are in trees.

In hibernation, limestone caves with pools are preferred. Hall (1962) noted that preferred caves are of medium size with large, shallow passageways. Roosts usually are in the coldest part of the cave. Preferred sites have a mean midwinter air temperature of 4-8 C (tolerates much broader range) (Hall 1962, Henshaw and Folk 1966), well below that of caves that are not chosen (Clawson et al. 1980). Roost site within cave may shift such that bats remain in the coldest area (Clawson et al. 1980); may move from a location deeper in the cave to a site nearer the entrance as the cold season progresses; moves away from areas that go below freezing. Hibernation in the coldest parts of the cave ensures a sufficiently low metabolic rate so that the fat reserves last through the six-month hibernation period (Henshaw and Folk 1966, Humphrey 1978). Relative humidity in occupied caves ranges from 66 to 95% and averages 87% throughout the year (Barbour and Davis 1969, Clawson et al. 1980). Because of these requirements, M. SODALIS is highly selective of hibernacula.

In summer, habitat consists of wooded or semiwooded areas, mainly along streams. Solitary females or small maternity colonies bear their offspring in hollow trees or under loose bark of living or dead trees (Humphrey et al. 1977, Garner and Gardner 1992). Humphrey et al. (1977) determined that dead trees are preferred roost sites and that trees standing in sunny openings are attractive because the air spaces and crevices under the bark are warmer. In Illinois, Garner and Gardner (1992) found that typical roosts were beneath the exfoliating bark of dead trees; other roost sites were beneath the bark of living trees and in cavities of dead trees. Kurta et al. (1993) found a large maternity colony in a dead, hollow, barkless, unshaded sycamore tree in a pasture in Illinois. In Michigan, a reproductively active colony occupied eight different roost trees (all green ash), all of which were exposed to direct sunlight throughout the day; bats roosted beneath loose bark of dead trees (Kurta et al. 1993). In western Virginia, a male used a mature, live, shagbark hickry tree as a diurnal roost; the bat foraged primarily among tree canopies of an 80-year-old oak-hickry forest (Hobson and Holland 1995). In Missouri, primary maternity roosts were in standing dead trees exposed to direct sunlight; there were 1-3 primary roosts per colony; alternate roosts were in living and dead trees that typically were within the shaded forest interior (Callahan et al. 1997). See Garner and Garner (1992) for detailed information on summer habitat in Illinois. Though maternity sites have been reported as occurring mainly in riparian and floodplain forests (Humphrey et al. 1977, Garner and Gardner 1992), recent studies indicate that upland habitats are used by maternity colonies much more extensively than previously reported. Garner and Gardner (1992) reported that 38 of 51 roost trees in Illinois occurred in uplands and 13 trees were in floodplains. Of the 47 trees in forested habitat, 27 were in areas having a closed (80-100%) canopy, and 15 were in areas having an intermediate (30-80%) canopy. A single roost tree was found in the following types of habitat: a heavily grazed ridgetop pasture with a few scattered dead trees, a partially wooded swine feedlot, a palustrine wetland with emergent vegetation, a forested island in the Mississippi river, and a clearcut around a segment of an intermittent stream where dead trees were retained for wildlife. Roosts were not found in forests with open canopies (10-30%) or in old fields with less than or equal to 10% canopy cover.

Roost trees include slippery elm (ULMUS RUBRA), American elm (ULMUS AMERICANA), northern red oak (QUERCUS RUBRA), post oak (QUERCUS STELLATA), white oak (QUERCUS ALBA), shingle oak (QUERCUS IMBRICARIA), shagbark hickory (CARYA OVATA), bitternut hickory (CARYA CORDIFORMIS), sweet pignut hickory (CARYA OVALIS), silver maple (ACER SACCHARINUM), sugar maple (ACER SACCHARUM), cottonwood (POPULUS DELTOIDES), green ash (FRAXINUS PENNSYLVANICA), and sassafras (SASSAFRAS ALBIDUM) (Cope et al. 1974, Humphrey et al. 1977, Garner and Gardner 1992). See Garner and Gardner (1992) for a detailed description of tree characteristics.

In Illinois, Indiana bats used the same, evidently traditional, roost sites in successive summers. Recapture of the same individuals within traditional roost sites during subsequent summers suggests site fidelity (Garner and Gardner 1992).

Relatively few individuals roost in caves at the mouths of which late summer swarming occurs (Cope and Humphrey 1977, Barbour and Davis 1969).

Occupied Landcover Map Units:
Code NameDescription NC Natural Heritage Program Equivalent
230 Piedmont Mesic Forest American Beech - Red Oak - White Oak Forests. Mesic Mixed Hardwood
384 Piedmont/Mountain Mixed Bottomland Hardwood Forests Includes temporarily to seasonally forests dominated by hardwood species. Hardwoods include sweetgum, red maple, sycamore which co-occur in a mosaic of bottomland and levee positions. Includes alluvial hardwood forests in the mountains. Hemlock and white pine may occur as inclusions, but are generally mapped separately. Piedmont/Mountain Alluvial Forest, Piedmont/Mountain Levee Forest
383 Piedmont Mixed Successional Forest Generally loblolly mixed with successional hardwoods. Sweetgum, tulip poplar and red maple are common co-dominants in these successional forests. No equivalent
228 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Oak and Hardwood Forests Primarily oak dominated forests, white oak is often dominant, with co-dominants including . Also represented by sweetgum and tulip poplar dominated forests. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Basic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
222 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Pine Forests Loblolly dominated forests resulting from succession following clearing. This type occurs on all moisture regimes following disturbance with the exception of the extremely xeric sites. No equivalent
382 Dry Mesic Oak Pine Forests Mixed forests of the coastal plain and piedmont. Includes loblolly pine with white, southern red and/or post oak and loblolly with water oak. On basic sites of the piedmont, eastern red cedar may co-occur with post, black, and blackjack oaks. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Xeric Hard Pan Forest, Chestnut Oak Forest, Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
220 Piedmont Xeric Pine Forests Dry to xeric pine forests dominated by Virginia pine, shortleaf pine or Eastern Red Cedar. Pine Oak Heath
226 Piedmont Xeric Woodlands Generally post and blackjack oak dominated woodlands. White ash and pignut hickory can be found in combination with Eastern red cedar on glades. Xeric Hardpan Forest
20 Coniferous Regeneration Regenerating pine stands. Predominantly loblolly pine, but slash and longleaf stands occur as well. No equivalent
21 Coniferous Cultivated Plantation (natural / planted) Managed pine plantations, densely planted. Most planted stands are loblolly, but slash and longleaf occur as well. No equivalent
51 Deciduous Cultivated Plantation Planted deciduous trees. Includes sweetgum and sycamore plantations. No equivalent
36 Successional Deciduous Forests Regenerating deciduous trees with a shrub stature. Commonly dominated by sweetgum, tulip poplars and maples. No equivalent
517 Hemlock Floodplain Forest Alluvial forest with hemlock and/or white pine in mountains and western piedmont. Hydrology is generally temporarily to seasonally flooded. Canada Hemlock Forest
521 Spruce/Fir Forest High Elevation Frazer-Fir - Red Spruce, Red Spruce and Red-Spruce-Yellow Birch Forests. Tree densities included here include both woodland to forest density. Highly intermixed with Northern Hardwoods, Grassy Balds, and Shrub Balds. Red Spruce--Fraser Fir Forest, Fraser Fir Forest
522 Northern Hardwoods High Elevation forests including yellow birch, American beech, and yellow buckeye. Includes forests with Hemlock and Yellow Birch. Northern Hardwoods Forest, Boulderfield Forest
525 Appalachian Oak Forest A variety of oak forest types including Black, White, Scarlet Oaks in dry to mesic situations. Includes forests historically co-dominated by American Chestnut. High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane White Oak Forest
526 Appalachian Cove Forest Mixed Mesophytic forests of the mountains. Includes tuliptree, basswood, yellow buckeye and surgar maple. This class is mapped to include cove forests dominated or co-dominated by hemlock. Rich Cove Forest, Acidic Cove Forest
527 Appalachian Hemlock Upland hemlock forests of the moutains region. Vary from side slopes to steep slope positions. Canada Hemlock Forest
528 Appalachian Xeric Pine Forest Pine forests and woodlands on xeric sites. A variety of pines, including Virginia, Shortleaf, Eastern White Pine, Table Mountain and Pitch pine. Often small areas of dense pine within a matrix of Xeric Oak-Pine Forests. Pine Oak Heath
529 Appalachian Xeric Mixed Forest Mixed forests with Virginia, Shortleaf, Eastern White Pine, Table Mountain and Pitch pines in combination with xeric oak species. Oaks include, white, Southern Red, black, and rock chestnut. Pine Oak Heath
530 Appalachian Xeric Deciduous Forest Deciduous forests in the mountains dominated by Xeric Oak species. Species include, white, Southern red, black, and rock chestnut. High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane White Oak Forest
533 Appalachian Swamp Forest Evergreen and deciduous forests with saturated hydrologies. This class may contain a variety of trees species, including hemlock - red maple, pitch pine, and white pine forests. Swamp Forest-Bog Complex, Southern Appalachian Bog, Southern Appalachian Fen
534 Appalachian Wet Shrubland/ Herbaceous Saturated shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. Often mapped as an inclusion in Appalachian Swamp Forest. Southern Appalachian Bog, Southern Appalachian Fen
View Entire Landcover Legend
Additional Spatial Constraints:
Exclude all area outside of known range.
Henshaw, R. E., and G. E. Folk. 1966. Relation of thermo-regulation to seasonally changing microclimate in 2 species of bats, MYOTIS LUCIFUGUS and M. SODALIS. Physiol. Zool.39:223-36.

Humphrey, S. R. 1978. Status, winter habitat, and management of the endangered Indiana bat, MYOTIS SODALIS. Florida Scientist 41(2):65-76.

Clawson, R. L., R. K. LaVal, M. L. LaVal, and W. Claire. 1980. Clustering behavior of hibernating MYOTIS SODALIS in Missouri, USA. Journal of Mammalogy 61:245-53.

Thompson, C. E. 1982. MYOTIS SODALIS. Mammalain Species No. 163:1-5.

Saugey, D. A., et al. 1990. Hibernating Indiana bats (MYOTIS SODALIS) from the Ouachita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma. Southwestern Naturalist 35:341-342.

Kurta, A., et al. 1993. A maternity roost of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) in an unshaded, hollow, sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis). American Midland Naturalist 130:405-407.

Kurta, A., et al. 1993. Summer roosts of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) on the northern edge of its range. American Midland Naturalist 129:132-138.

Richter, A. R., et al. 1993. Modified cave entrances:thermal effect on body mass and resulting decline of endangered Indiana bats (MYOTIS SODALIS). Conservation Biology 7:407-.

Hobson, C. S., and J. N. Holland. 1995. Post-hibernation movement and foraging habitat of a male Indiana bat, MYOTIS SODALIS (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae), in western Virginia. Brimleyana 23:95-101.

Evers, D. C. 1992. A guide to Michigan's endangered wildlife. Univ. Michigan Press, Ann Arbor. viii + 103 pp.

Herkert, J. R., editor. 1992. Endangered and threatened species of Illinois:status and distribution. Vol. 2:Animals. Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board. iv + 142 pp.

Jones, J. K., Jr., et al. 1992. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occas. Pap. Mus., Texas Tech Univ. (146):1-23.

Brack, V., Jr., and K. Tyrell. 1990. A model of the habitat used by the Indiana bat (MYOTIS SODALIS) during the summer in Indiana:1990 field studies. Indiana Dept. Natural Resources, Div. Fish Wildlife, Endangered Species Program, Project E-1-4, Study No.

Garner, J. D., and J. E. Gardner. 1992. Determination of summer distribution and habitat utilization of the Indiana bat (MYOTIS SODALIS) in Illinois. Final Report, Project E-3. 23 pp.

Figg, D. E. 1993. Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife diversity report, July 1992-June 1993. 75 pp.

Figg, D. E., and C. M. Bessken. 1995[?]. Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife diversity report:July 1994 - June 1995. v + 104 pp. [perhaps date is 1996].

Kurta, A., and J. A. Teramino. 1994. A novel hibernaculum and noteworthy records of the Indiana bat and eastern pipistrelle (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae). American Midland Naturalist 132:410-413.

Cope, J. B., and S. R. Humphrey. 1977. Spring and autumn swarming behavior in the Indiana bat, MYOTIS SODALIS. Journal of Mammalogy 58:93-5.

Figg, D.E. 1991. Missouri Department of Conservation annual nongame and endangered species report July 1990 - June 1991. ii + 35 pp.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal Species of the World:a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Second Edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp.

Whitaker, J.O. Jr. and W.J. Hamilton, Jr. 1998. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 583 pp.

Humphrey, S. R., A. R. Richter, and J. B. Cope. 1977. Summer habitat and ecology of the endangered Indiana bat, MYOTIS SODALIS. J. Mammalogy 58:334-346.

Lee, D. S., L. B. Funderburg Jr., and M. K. Clark. 1982. A distributional survey of North Carolina mammals. Occasional Papers of the North Carolina Biological Survey, No. 1982-10. North Carolina State. Mus. Nat. Hist., Raleigh, North Carolina. 72 pp.

Hall, J. S. 1962. A life history and taxonomic study of the Indiana bat, MYOTIS SODALIS. Reading Publication Museum Art Gallery, Science Publication 12. 68 pp.

Barbour, R. W., and W. H. Davis. 1969. Bats of America. The University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, Kentucky.



Layne, J. N., editor. 1978. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Vol. 1. Mammals. State of Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission. xx + 52 pp.

Hamilton, William J., Jr., and John O. Whitaker, Jr. 1979. Mammals of the eastern United States. Cornell Univ. Press, Ithaca, New York. 346 pp.

Brack, V., Jr., and R. K. LaVal. 1985. Food habits of the Indiana bat in Missouri. J. Mammalogy 66:308-315.

Hall, E. R. 1981. The Mammals of North America. Second edition. 2 Volumes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York.

Schwartz, Charles W., and Elizabeth R. Schwartz. 1981. The wild mammals of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia. 356 pp.

Baker, Rollin H. 1983. Michigan mammals. Michigan State University Press. 642 pp.

Brady, J., R. L. Clawson, R. K. LaVal, T. Kunz, M. D. Tuttle, and D. Wilson. 1983. Recovery plan for the Indiana bat. U. S. Fish Wildlife Service, Rockville, Maryland. 94 pp.

Dalton, V. M. 1987. Distribution, abundance, and status of bats hibernating in caves in Virginia. Virginia J. Science 38:369-379.

Caire, W., J. D. Tyler, B. P. Glass, and M. A. Mares. Z. Marsh (illustrator). 1989. Mammals of Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. Oklahoma. 567 pp.

Handley, C. O., Jr. 1991. Mammals. Pages 539-616 in K. Terwilliger, coordinator. Virginia's endangered species:proceedings of a symposium. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1990. Endangered and threatened species recovery program:report to Congress. 406 pp.

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Ransome, R. 1990. The natural history of hibernating bats. Christopher Helm, London. xxi + 235 pp.

10 March 2005
This data was compiled and/or developed by the North Carolina GAP Analysis Project.

For more information please contact them at:
NC-GAP Analysis Project
Dept. of Zoology, NCSU
Campus Box 7617
Raleigh, NC 27695-7617
(919) 513-2853