The Daubenton Bat (Myotis daubentonii) is also known as the
‘water bat’ as it fishes insects from the water’s surface with its large feet or uses its tail membrane as a scoop. It can be
found in England, Scotland and wales.
On a bat detector the calls are heard as a machine gun like series of regular clicks for bursts of 5 to 10 seconds. Daubenton’s bat calls range from 35 to 85kHz and are loudest at 45 to 50kHz
Daubenton’s bats may be found in tunnels or bridges over canals and rivers, or in caves, mines and cellars. They are only occasionally found in buildings, usually old stone structures such as moated castles and waterworks. And sometimes they are find in tree-holes and bat boxes. They can be quite noisy throughout the day, especially at sites where they are close to human activity. Although usually solitary, small groups of three or four are not uncommon. Individuals are often lodged in tight crevices and are barely visible.
Daubenton’s bats usually feed within about 6km of the roost, but have been recorded following canals for up to 10km (at speeds of up to 25kph). They have a steady flight, often within a few centimetres of the water surface and is reminiscent of a small hovercraft. They take insects from close to the water. They feed mainly on small flies (especially chironomid midges), caddisflies and mayflies.
The Daubenton’s bat is a medium-sized species with a head and body length of 45 – 55mm. Its fur colour is red brown, and the underpart of the body is pale. It is distinctive by its pinkish face which is bare around the eyes. The wingspan of this bat is 240mm-275mm and it weighs 7g – 12g.
Mating usually takes place in the autumn but active males will continue to mate throughout the winter. Maternity roosts are occupied from late spring and sometimes until October. Young bats are suckled for several weeks and are fully weaned and able to forage for themselves at 6 to 8 weeks. The average colony size is between 20 to 50 bats (up to 200). Daubenton’s bats can live for up to 22 years.
In Britain all bat species and their roosts are legally protected, by both domestic and international legislation.
Many thanks to the Bat Conservation Trust for sharing this information; for more detailed reading please visit their website below.