Eastern small-footed bat
Myotis leibii
ITIS Species Code:   179999         NatureServ Element Code:   AMACC01130
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 %
57.0 %
0.0 %
31.5 %
2.0 %
< 0.1 %
4.6 %
0.9 %
0.0 %
1.7 %
1.7 %
< 0.1 %
0.0 %

43.0 %
% of Dist. on
All Lands

0.0 %
13.2 %
< 0.1 %
7.3 %
0.5 %
< 0.1 %
1.1 %
0.2 %
0.0 %
0.6 %
0.4 %
< 0.1 %
76.7 %

10.0 %
Occurring in mountainous regions throughout their range, the bat is found in the mountains of North Carolina (Webster et al. 1985). This species also occurs in the upper piedmont near rock outcrops and caves (Webster et al. 1985).

Summer roost sites have been found in crevices of rock outcrops and boulders, shallow caves, holes and crevices in earthen banks, hollow trees and barns (Lee et al. 1982; Webster et al. 1985; Whitaker and Hamilton 1998). In the southern Appalachians, roosts have also been found in hemlock forest (Webster et al. 1985)


Habitat is mostly hilly or mountainous areas, in or near deciduous or evergreen forest, sometimes in mostly open farmland. In Pennsylvania, Mohr (1932) found this species mostly in heavy hemlock forests in the foothills of mountains that rise to 2000 ft (600 m). Unpublished data from the Kentucky Heritage Program indicate that summer roosts include caves, coal mines, buildings, and bridges over rivers (in expansion joints). Warm-season roosts include buildings, hollow trees, spaces under loose bark, etc. Tuttle (1964) reported two individuals found in April in Tennessee under a large flat rock at the edge of a quarry surrounded by woods and cow pastures. In Ontario, about 12 of these bats were found in July behind the door of a shed that was kept open (i.e., positioned against the wall) (Hitchcock 1955). They have been seen resting in limestone caves in West Virginia in spring and summer (Krutzsch 1966).

By far most of our records come from observations of bats hibernating in winter in caves and mine tunnels. Hibernation occurs in solution and fissure caves and mine tunnels (including coal, iron, copper, and talc mines). Situations near the entrance where the air is relatively cold and dry seem to be preferred (Barbour and Davis 1969), though sometimes deeper locations are used (Schwartz and Schwartz 1981). Roost sites often are deep in crevices, or under rocks on the cave floor, where the bats can be very difficult to find (Davis 1955, Krutzsch 1966, Martin et al. 1966). These bats are usually found singly or occasionally in small clusters, but many may be packed in a crevice; often they hang among other species (Martin et al. 1966). In tight places the body may be horizontal, even belly down. On cave walls, the forearms are somewhat extended rather than parallel to the body axis.

Dunn and Hall (1989) noted that 52% of Pennsylvania hibernacula were small caves of less than 150 m (500 ft) in length.

Like many other bat species, this one typically forages over ponds and streams.

Occupied Landcover Map Units:
Code NameDescription NC Natural Heritage Program Equivalent
267 Riverbank Shrublands Riverside shrubs with temporarily flooded hydrologies. Found in the both the Mountains and Piedmont. Containing dominants such as smooth alder and a Carolina or black willows. Sand and Mud Bar
269 Floodplain Wet Shrublands Saturated shrublands of the Piedmont, includes buttonbush, swamp-loosestrife, decodon and alders. Piedmont/mountain Semipermanent Impoundment
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
180 Agricultural Crop Fields Farm fields used for row crops. No equivalent
205 Agricultural Pasture/Hay and Natural Herbaceous Farm fields used for pasture grass or hay production, as well as old fields dominated by native and exotic grasses. No equivalent
202 Residential Urban Includes vegetation interspersed in residential areas. Includes lawns, mixed species woodlots, and horticultural shrubs. Vegetation accounts for between 20 - 70% of the cover. 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
523 Grassy Bald High Elevation grassy balds including Pennsylvania sedge, mountain oatgrass, as well as shrubby areas dominated by Alleghany and smooth blackberry. Grassy Bald
524 Shrub Bald Variable phenologies, predominantly evergreen balds with rhododendon and Mountain laurels. Deciduous shrubs including green alder and Alleghany and smooth blackberry are included as well. Red Oak - Chestnut Oak Woodlands may be included in cases where the density of the woodland species is low and the shrub component is dense. Heath Bald
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
535 Talus/Outcrops/Cliffs Includes seep talus slopes with sparce vegetation, as well as outcrops including, granitic outcrops. Some outcrops will have been mapped as barren rock. No equivalent
View Entire Landcover Legend
Additional Spatial Constraints:
Exclude all area outside of known range.
Mohr, C. E. 1932. MYOTIS SUBULATUS LEIBII and MYOTIS SODALIS in Pennsylvania. Journal of Mammalogy 13:160-1.

Krutzsch, P. H. 1966. Remarks on silver-haired and Leib's bats in eastern United States. Journal of Mammalogy 47(1):121.

Martin, R. L., J. T. Pawluck, and T. B. Clancy. 1966. Observations on hibernation of MYOTIS SUBULATUS. Journal of Mammalogy 47(2):348-9.

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.

Tuttle, M.O. 1974. AN IMPROVED TRAP FOR BATS. J. MAMMAL. 55(2):475-477.

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.

Dunn, J. P., and J. S. Hall. 1989. Status of cave-dwelling bats in Pennsylvania. J. Pennsylvania Acad. Sci. 63(3):166-72.

Hitchcock, H.B. 1955. A summer colony of the least bat Myotis subulatus leibii (Audubon and Bachman). Can. Field-Nat. 69 (2):31.

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.

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

Tuttle, M. D. 1964. MYOTIS SUBULATUS in Tennessee. J. Mamm. 45:148-149.

Banfield, A.W.F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto.

Godin, A.J. 1977. Wild Mammals of New England. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 304 pp.

Van Zyll de Jong, C. G. 1984. Taxonomic relationships of Nearctic small-footed bats of the MYOTIS LEIBII group (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae). Can. J. Zool. 62:2519-2526.

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.

van Zyll de Jong, C. G. 1985. Handbook of Canadian Mammals. Volume 2. Bats. National Museums of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 212 pp.

Webster, W. D., J. F. Parnell and W. C. Biggs Jr. 1985. Mammals of the Carolinas, Virginia, and Maryland. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC.

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

Herd, R. M. 1987. Electrophoretic divergence of MYOTIS LEIBII and MYOTIS CILIOLABRUM (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae). Can. J. Zool. 65:1857-1860.

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.

Fenton, M. B. 1972. Distribution and over-wintering of Myotis leibii and Eptesicus fuscus (Chiroptera:Vespertilionidae) in Ontario. Royal Ontario Museum,, Life Sciences Occas. Pap. (21):1-8.

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