Image: Large-footed Myotis Illustration

Large-footed Myotis Illustration

Large-footed Myotis (Myotis macropus, formerly adversus), dragging its large feet through a stream trying to catch insects.

Andrew Howells
© Australian Museum


Large-footed Myotis are small bats that live in caves, tunnels, under bridges and in trees in eastern and northern Australia. They are about 5 cm long with a grey-brown back and grey belly. They have very large feet to help them catch insects from the water and narrow wings to help them fly fast.

Large-footed Myotis hunt for food at night. They fly over creeks and rake their clawed hind feet through the water to catch fish and insects. They find flying insects by making small sounds through their mouths that humans cannot hear. The sounds bounce off objects and come back to the bat. The bats listen to the sounds that come back and are able to tell where things are. This is called echolocation.

Females can give birth to one live young three times a year. The young bats are born helpless and without hair and hold onto their mother's belly. The young bats feed on milk from nipples located under their mother's armpits until they are old enough to look for food themselves.

Male Large-footed Myotis bats often fight with each other for space and females.

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