KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In celebration of Bat Week, as shared by the Blue Ridge Parkway, here are all the bats you can find in East Tennessee.

Across the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency reports that there are 15 different types of bats can be found across the state. Of those, TWRA says 13 can be found in some parts of East Tennessee, including the two types that are endangered.

The Blue Ridge Parkway took to Facebook to share some interesting facts about bats. Some of those facts included:

  • 14 species of bats have been accounted for/documented on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and there are somewhere between 1400-2000 species globally.
  • All of the bats found along the Parkway and the entire East coast are insectivores. Bats eat a large variety of insects. Approximately 70% of bats globally are insectivorous or carnivorous. The other 30% dine on fruit and nectar, except the vampire bat that dines on blood, primarily of livestock.
  • They are the only flying mammals. They have the greatest airfoil of any animal that flies, making them highly maneuverable.
  • Insectivorous bats use echolocation to navigate and locate prey. The frequency of this sonar is between 20-200 kHz. That is outside human hearing capabilities which are good because the sonar is actually really loud, anywhere from 50 – 120 decibels, which is as loud as a smoke detector sounding 4 inches from one’s head. Sometimes people might hear bats squeak, which is a way they communicate.
  • All bats sleep hanging upside down. As soon as they release their grip, they are in flight.
  • Some bats hibernate, some migrate and some do both.
  • White Nose Syndrome and habitat loss are the two greatest threats to bats. WNS is highly contagious and will wipe out entire colonies once in a cave.

The bats listed in East Tennessee include the Little Brown Bat, the Gray Bat, the Northern Long-eared Bat, the Indiana Bat, the Eastern Small Footed Bat, the Silver Haired Bat, the Tri-colored Bat, the Big Brown Bat, the Eastern Red Bat, the Seminole Bat, the Hoary Bat, the Evening Bat and Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat.

Of those bats, the Gray Bat and the Indiana Bat are the bats that are considered endangered, according to the TWRA. They said the Gray Bat is the largest of the “mouse-eared bats” in Tennessee, and while they are often half an ounce or less in weight. They eat mosquitos, caddisflies, beetles, moths, flies and other aquatic insects.

The Indiana Bat is smaller, ranging from one- to two-tenths of an ounce in weight, according to TWRA. They prefer to eat moths, but also eat beetles, caddis flies and other flies.

East Tennessee is also home to the Eastern Small Footed Bat, which is the smallest bat in the eastern U.S.; the Silver Haired Bat, which is the slowest flying bat in North America; the Tri-colored Bath which occurs in more caves in eastern North America than any other bat species; and the Seminole Bat, which only is listed as occurring in three counties in the entire state.

The Seminole Bat only appears to frequently be found in Monroe County based on TWRA’s map.

Some contenders for the title of spookiest looking bat might also include the Hoary Bat, which is the largest bat species in Tennessee according to TWRA and very elaborately colored, and Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat, which has a very distinct and elaborate set of ears.

TWRA explains that Rafinesque’s Big-Eared Bat has “conspicuously large ears,” which are shaped similar to rabbit ears. TWRA further says that the bat curls and folds its ears similar to ram’s horns, and if they are disturbed “the ears unfold and move in circles like antennae.”

To learn more about Tennessee’s bats, visit the TWRA’s website.