Whiskered bat

©Tom Marshall

Whiskered bat

Scientific name: Myotis mystacinus
The small, shaggy-furred whiskered bat roosts in all sorts of houses, old or modern. It is similar to the brandt's bat and they often roost together, but in separate colonies. It feeds along familiar routes, such as hedgerows and woodland edges.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 3.5-4.8cm

Wingspan: 21-24cm

Weight: 4-8g

Average lifespan: 4-5 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive.

When to see

April to October

About

The whiskered bat is a small bat that is very similar to the Brandt's bat; in fact, these two species were only separated in 1970. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Whiskered bats frequently forage along a familiar route like a hedgerow or woodland edge. They roost in all kinds of houses and may use bat boxes. During the summer, females form maternity colonies and have just a single pup. Whiskered bats hibernate in caves and tunnels over winter.

How to identify

The whiskered bat is small, with shaggy, golden-tipped, dark grey or brown fur, and a grey belly. Its flight is fast and fluttering. It is very similar in appearance to the brandt's bat, but is slightly smaller.

Distribution

A scarce species found throughout England and Wales.

Did you know?

Like other bats, the whiskered bat mates over autumn and winter, and the female gives birth to a single young pup in early summer. The pup will stay with its mother until it is fully weaned and able to fly and forage on its own.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.