Mexican free-tailed bat flying from day roost in tree hole

Mexican free-tailed bat

Mexican free-tailed bats form some of the largest congregations of mammals on the planet. One cave in Texas is estimated to contain 20 million individuals. These large colonies consume an enormous number of insects every night, many of which are agricultural pests. Mexican free-tailed bats forage for food for longer and go further afield than other bats, travelling at around 80kph (50mph) when flying over open ground.

Scientific name: Tadarida brasiliensis

Rank: Species

Common names:

Brazilian free-tailed bat

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Map showing the distribution of the Mexican free-tailed bat taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Mexican free-tailed bat can be found in a number of locations including: North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Mexican free-tailed bat distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Bats
  6. Molossidae
  7. Tadarida
  8. Mexican free-tailed bat

BBC News about Mexican free-tailed bat