California myotis (Myotis californicus)

The California myotis (Myotis californicus) is a species of vesper bat. It is found in British Columbia in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, and in the western United States, including California.


The California myotis is a small bat with pale, dull fur. Ears are of medium size, with a narrow pointed tragus. They have very small feet, and an obviously keeled calcar. In appearance, they are easily confused with the western small footed myotis. During the day, the California myotis will roost in the bark of trees, rock crevices or buildings. They tend to emerge just after dusk and just before dawn to forage. Diet includes moths, flies and most other flying insects.

California myotis mate in the fall, and give birth during the late spring (May- early June). Females give birth to one pup per year, and can live for about 15 years in the wild. During the birthing season they form small maternity colonies of about 20 individuals, usually in the loose bark or trees or rock crevices. During the winter they may hibernate in mines or rock caves, or they may remain active all winter.



Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Photograph is available under a Creative Commons License from Alan Harper.

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.