Ghost faced Bat

Texas

Ghost-faced Bat, Mormoops megalophylla

Texas has some rugged country and visiting Big Bend National Park in 1998 was a long cherished ambition, as was seeing an Armadillo. I saw plenty of roadkill Armadillos – several clutching empty bottles of Lone Star beer –  but couldn’t find a live one. I returned again in May 2013, for a weekend’s batting in Big Bend. In May 2014 i was around the Gulf Coast and San Angelo. In 2018 I visited Marfa for a night. I returned for a few days in November 2020, focusing on the south-east, and again over Easter 2021 in the centre of the state (between Dallas and Odessa).

This page is very roughly divided into the west, central and eastern portions of this huge state.

West Texas

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend, May 2013

In September 1998 I saw Collared Peccary, White-tailed Deer (race Carminis), a probable Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat, and Grey Foxes.

In May 2013 we caught Brazilian Freetail Bats,Pocketed Free-tailed Bats, Canyon Bats (aka Western Pipistrelles), Ghost-faced Bats, Californian Myotis, Pallid Bats, a Western Yellow Bat, Yuma Myotis,a Hoary BatWestern Small-footed Myotis and Big Brown Bats. I saw Davis Mountain Cottontails,Coyotes, White-ankled Mouse, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Black-tailed Jackrabbits, Pronghorn and Black-tailed Prarie Dog. See my 2013 trip report.

Hoary Bat, Lasiurus cinereus, Big Bend, 2013.

Guadalupe Mountains

In September 1998 I saw Texas Antelope Squirrels here and a Western Pipistrelle roosting inside Hunter’s Cabin on the McCittrick Canyon Trail.

Marfa

Black-tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus

I spent a night here in May 2018. Lots of Black-tailed Jackrabbits and Desert Cottontails, plus Pronghorn, a North American Deer Mouse and a couple of Southern Plains Woodrats.

Odessa and around

Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher, Cratogeomys castanops

24 hours around Odessa in 2021 produced Knox Jones’s and Yellow-faced Pocket Gophers, Mule Deer, Javelina, Sonoran Deer Mice and Ord’s Kangaroo Rats. Thank you Bob Dowler!

Central Texas

Abilene

Texas Mouse, Peromyscus attwateri

Trapping in Abilene with Joel Brant in 2021 produced Texas Mice, Plains and Fulvous Harvest Mice and a Hispid Cotton Rat. I have also seen Northern Pygmy Mice, feral pigs, White-tailed Deer and Armadillos in the area too.

Lyndon Johnson State Park

In September 1998 I saw a Virginia Oppossum and Eastern Fox Squirrels but dipped on the reputedly common Armadillos.

Mason

Llano Pocket Gopher, Geomys texensis

Bob Dowler caught us a Llano Pocket Gopher here in 2020.

San Angelo

Plains Pocket Gopher, Geomys bursarius, Ballinger

In May 2014 I saw and caught Northern Pygmy Mice, Merriam’s Pocket Mice, Southern Plains Woodrats, Black-tailed Jackrabbits, Eastern Cottontails, White-tailed Deer, a Virginia Opossum, Raccoons and a Plains Pocket Gopher here. See my 2014 trip report.

Wichita County

Spotlighting around here in 2021 found Hispid Cotton Rats, Hispid Pocket Mice and endangered Texas Kangaroo Rats, plus Raccoons, Striped Skunks, Opossums, Black-tailed Jackrabbits and Eastern (I think) Cottontails.

Eastern Texas

The Barrier Islands

Texas Marsh Rice Rat, Oryzomys texensis. Photo Jose Grabriel Martinez.

I was here in 2014 and 2020. Port Aransas is a good place to see Texas Marsh Rice Rats and Texas Pocket Gophers. While the dunes on Padre Island are a reliable place to find Gulf Coast Kangaroo Rats. Other species around include Grey Foxes, Raccoons, Opossums and Hispid Cotton Rats.

Houston

Eastern Spotted Skunk, Spilogale putorius

A visit to Clint Perkins’s study site on Katy Prairie Conservancy in 2020 was a great way to see the beautiful Eastern Spotted Skunk up close, along with Baird’s Pocket Gophers, Striped Skunks, Fulvous Harvest Mice, Hispid Cotton Rats, CoyoteWhite-tailed DeerRaccoons, and North American Least Shrew. Attwater’s Pocket Gophers are nearby too.

Laguna Atascosa

In May 2014 I saw a Southern Plains Woodrat, Eastern Cottontails, White-tailed Deer and Raccoons here. See my 2014 trip report.

Raccoon, Procyon lotor

Rockport

I stopped here briefly in May 2014 and saw both a Swamp Rabbit and Eastern Cottontails. See my 2014 trip report.

Community Reports

Coastal Texas, 2022: Charles Hood’s notes of a a few species including Texas Pocket Gopher, Swamp Rabbit (in Louisiana) and Hispid Cotton Rat.

Central Texas, Easter 2021: Jon Hall, a long weekend and 15 or so mammals including Texas Mouse, Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher and Texas Kangaroo Rat.

South-east Texas, 2020: Jon Hall and Jose Gabriel Martinez, 5 nights & 19 species including Eastern Spotted Skunk, Texas Marsh Rice Rat and four species of pocket gophers.

Hog-nosed Skunking, 2018: Jon Hall, 2 nights & 6 species including a Hog-nosed Skunk and a Kit Fox.

Arizona and New Mexico (plus California and Texas), 2018: Dominique Brugiere, 1 month and many mammals including RingtailHog-nosed and Western Spotted SkunksWhite-sided Jackrabbit and a Badger.

San Angelo State Park, 2017: Ameet Zaver’s brief visit with Rio Grande Ground Squirrels and Porcupine.

Arizona and Texas, 2017: Aidan Place, 19 days and 42 species including Hog-nosed and Hooded SkunksMountain Lion, Ringtail (at a bird feeder) and Gulf-coast Kangaroo Rats.

South East California to West Texas, 2015: Brian Keelan, 24 days & 43 mammals, 24 of which were bats (the main focus of the trip) including Ghost-faced, Lesser Long-nosed, Allen’s Big-eared (Lappet-browed) and Underwood’s Mastiff Bats, Davis Mountain Cottontail and Mexican Fox Squirrel. Great stuff!

Texas, San Angelo & the Gulf Coast, 2014: Jon Hall – a long weekend with a dozen species including Gulf-coast Kangaroo Rat and Swamp Rabbit.

Big Bend, 2013: Jon Hall – a long weekend batting with 17 species including Ghost-faced Bat, Western Yellow Bat and Davis Mountain Cottontail.

Big Thicket National Preserve, 2013: Vladimir Dinets, 1 night & 7 species of small mammals including Eastern Mole and Golden Mouse.

Big Bend Bat Watch, 2012: Fiona Reid, 1 week & 20+ species including the fabulous Ghost-faced Bat, Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Davis Mountain Cottontail, Swift Fox and Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat.

South-western USA, 2009: Mike Richardson, 3 weeks in Arizona, California and Texas & 22 species including a Bobcat.

South-western USA, 2004: Steve-Anyon Smith, one month in Arizona, California and Texas & 46 mammals including an Armadillo.

Texas, 2001: Richard Webb, one week & 14+ mammals.

Also See

Red Wolf like canids in Texas and Louisiana (November, 2019)

Marsh Rice Rats in Anahuac NWR (May, 2014)

RFI: Swamp Rabbits in Texas (May, 2014).

RFI Texas and North Carolina (May, 2011).

ID help for south Texas rodent (Laguna Atascosa NWR, Jan, 2011).

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