Bat – Whiskered

Whiskered Bat

The whiskered bat (myotis mystacinus) is very similar to Brandt’s bat and the two species were only separated in 1970. It is slightly smaller than the Brandt’s bat but still shares the same shaggy fur.

The whiskered bats calls sound like dry clicks (similar to Daubenton’s but not as regular and often slower). They sound loudest at 45kHz.

Whiskered bats are regularly found in buildings, though colonies are more commonly found in the north and west. They are found in all types of houses including some modern ones, but particularly in older buildings with stone walls and slate roofs. They are crevice dwellers, often roosting until hanging tiles, above soffits, in cavity walls and under ridge tiles.

bats. They do roost in trees and churches, and have been known to use bat boxes. In winter whiskered bats are regularly found hibernating in caves and tunnels, almost always in small numbers – it is uncertain where the majority of them hibernate. They are usually found in cold areas close to the entrance, but occasionally roost in the warmer interior.

Whiskered bats emerge within half an hour of sunset and probably remain active throughout much of the night. They have a fast and fluttering flight, to a height of 20 metres, generally level with occasional swoops. They glide briefly, especially when feeding in the canopy. They frequently fly along a regular route over or alongside a hedgerow or woodland edge. They feed on moths, other small insects and spiders. Studies have indicated that whiskered bats have more flexible foraging.

The whiskered bat is a small species with a head and body length of 35mm – 48mm. The colour of its fur is dark grey or brown with gold tips on the back and it has a greyish underneath. The wingspan is 210mm – 240mm and it weighs 4g – 8g.

Mating usually takes place in autumn, but has been observed in all winter months. Adult females form maternity colonies in the summer, giving birth to their single young in June or early July. The baby is fed solely on its mother’s milk: by three weeks it can fly and by six weeks it can forage for itself. Some females reach sexual maturity at three months (in their first autumn) but the majority do not mate until their second autumn.

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