Bat – Common Pipistrelle

Common Pipistrelle Bat

Common Pipistrelle’s (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) are the commonest and most widespread of all British bat species. There are two very similar species, common pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle. Pipistrelles are the bats you are most likely to see.

The call of the Common Pipistrelle sounds like a series of clicks turning into ‘wetter’ slaps with the deepest sounding slap being heard at about 45kHz. The Common Pipistrelle at about 55kHz.

Summer roosts of both common and soprano pipistrelles are usually found in crevices around the outside of often newer buildings, such as behind hanging tiles, soffit and barge or eaves
boarding, between roofing felt and roof tiles or in cavity walls. This species also roosts in tree holes and crevices, and also in bat boxes. Summer roosts support smaller colonies than soprano pipistrelles, with numbers averaging around 75 bats.

They appear fast and jerky in flight as they dodge about pursuing small insects which the bats catch and eat on the wing. A single pipistrelle can consume up to 3,000 insects in one night! They fly 2-10m above ground level searching for their insect prey which is a wide range of small flies as well as aquatic midges and mosquitoes. Common pipistrelles feed in a wide range of habitats comprising woodland, hedgerows, grassland, farmland, suburban and also urban areas.

The Common Pipistrelle weighs around 3 -5 grams which is less than a £1 coin! Its body length is between 35mm – 45mm and it has a wingspan of 200mm – 235mm. The fur is a medium to dark brown colour.

During the summer, females form maternity colonies where they give birth to a single young in June or early July. For three or four weeks the young are fed solely on their mother’s milk. After about four weeks the young are able to fly and at six weeks they are able to forage for themselves. Male bats usually roost singly or in small groups through the summer months. During the main mating period males attract females by making repeated ‘songflights’ around their roost and singing social calls.

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.

Photo Credit: © Copyright Bat Conservation Trust