2015 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLETnature archive
Nature Archive Photo
© Bruce D. Taubert

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.
Pale in Comparison
Although pallid bats aren’t flashy — thus the name — they stand out as one of only two bat species immune to scorpion venom. If you hate scorpions, you’ll love pallid bats.

By Keridwen Cornelius

If pallid bats could be kept as pets, they'd be all the rage in Arizona — despite the creepy claws, vampiric reputation and complete dearth of cuddliness. Because what they can do — very well — is eat scorpions. And centipedes, cicadas, crickets, beetles, lizards and even mice.

The pallid bat is one of two known bat species immune to scorpion venom. And it's the only bat species that snatches the majority of its prey from the ground. In fact, they've been known to get caught in mousetraps.

Pallid bats prey on a documented 54 species of creepy crawlies. Every night, they can devour up to half their weight in insects. A mother nursing her young can consume her entire body weight in insects.

Not that they're heavyweights. Their wingspan can stretch up to 16 inches, yet they tip the scale at less than an ounce.

As the name suggests, the pallid bat has pale fur that ranges from beige to butterscotch. If you get up close and personal, you'll notice its horseshoe-shaped snout. You might also get a whiff of the skunk-like odor it emits from its nostrils as a defense mechanism.

Pallid bats rely less on echolocation than other bats, using low-intensity sonar so they can silently sneak up on prey. They're not particularly adept fliers, but they can walk. And they're equipped with eyes and ears so oversized and fine-tuned they can actually hear the pitter-patter of insect feet.

Like many of Arizona's 28 bat species, pallid bats pollinate cactuses. Unlike other bats, it's believed they only do this incidentally — they're probably after the insects inside the flowers, not the nectar.

Pallid bats range from southern Canada to northern Mexico. In Arizona, they inhabit elevations up to 6,850 feet in summer, but they remain only in the warmer southern region during winter, when they go into torpor.

Sociable creatures, pallid bats roost en masse with both their own and other bat species. They're quite sensitive to temperature swings, humidity and noise, so they gravitate toward rock crevices, mines, caves and hollow trees. They might even make your home their home, roosting in attics or overhangs in roofs — which, if you have a scorpion problem, is great news.

>> Back to Nature Archive

Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]


Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.