Bats in Missouri

There are about 17 bats native to Missouri. The largest of these is the Hoary Bat, which has a wingspan of 13-16 inches, and the Tricolored Bat, the smallest, with a wingspan of only 7-9 inches. Most of the bats living here thrive in the multiple cave systems dotted throughout the state. However, some, like the Silver-haired Bat, will roost in trees rather than caves.

Bats in Missouri (MO)

Different Types of Bats in Missouri 

Free-tailed Bats (Molossidae)

  • Big Free-tailed Bat
  • Mexican Free-tailed Bat

Vesper Bats (Vespertilionidae)

  • Big Brown Bat
  • Eastern Red Bat
  • Eastern Small-footed Bat
  • Evening Bat
  • Gray Bat
  • Hoary Bat
  • Indiana Bat
  • Little Brown Bat
  • Northern Long-eared Bat
  • Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat
  • Seminole Bat
  • Silver-haired Bat
  • Southeastern Myotis
  • Townsend’s Big-eared Bat
  • Tricolored Bat

Places To Go Bat Watching in Missouri

Missouri has a series of cave systems called the Ozark National Scenic Riverways Park. The Big Brown Bat can be found close to the entrance of the cave, the rare Indiana and Gray Bats, as well as the Little Brown and the Northern Long-eared Bats, can be seen in the part of the cave called the “Twilight Zone” because a little of sunlight still reaches inside, and the inner passages are home to the Tricolored Bat.


1. Are bats protected in Missouri?

Missouri bats are protected by law as “non-game wildlife.”

2. Are bats in Missouri dangerous?

While bats are not aggressive despite cultural stigma, they can get rabies, and one should be careful when interacting with them.

3. Do bats hibernate in Missouri?

Several species of bats undergo hibernation in the vast cave systems in Missouri.

4. Are there any endangered bats in Missouri?

The Indiana and Gray Bats are federally endangered, while the Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat, the Southeastern Myotis, and the Eastern Small-footed Myotis are imperiled within the state.

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