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Mammal Species of the World's Boreal Forests

BIRDS

   
Myotis mystacinus
Whiskered Bat

Description

Distinguishing Features - Length: 35 - 50 mm; Wingspan: 200 - 250 mm; Weight: 5 - 9 g. Colour: fur dark grey or brown, golden tips on back, grayish underneath; face and ears dark brown or black.

Whiskered Bat Habitat

Whiskered bats are very common throughout all of Europe and Asia. Summer roosts: mainly buildings and trees; winter roosts: sometimes caves and tunnels. Feeding habitat: wooded country, often near water. They roost in colonies of 30 - 200 individuals.

Diet

Moths, other small insects and spiders.

Notes

Whiskered bats and Brandt's bats Myotis brandtii are easiy confused; they are very similar small species with somewhat shaggy fur, the Whiskered bat being on average slightly smaller than Brandt's. Differences lie in the shape of the inner lobe of the ear and features of the teeth; Brandt's bat's face and base of ears often pinkish. Whiskered and Brandt's bats were only recently separated as distinct species.

The Brandt's bat is not as widespread; it's range consists of all of Europe to the foothills of the Ural Mts.

Within cave sites, whiskered bats are usually found in cold areas close to the entrance, but occasionally roost in the warmer interior. They may choose more humid situations than Brandt's bats. Whiskered bats more often hang exposed, whereas Brandt's bats often lodge in tight crevices. Both species emerge within half an hour of sunset and probably remain active throughout much of the night. Whiskered bats have a fast and fluttering fight, to a height of 20 metres, generally level with occasional stoops. They glide briefly, especially when feeding in the canopy. They frequently fly along a regular 'beat' over or alongside a woodland edge. Brandt's bats have a rapid and skilful flight, flying at a medium height and more often within woodland. Prey is occasionally picked off foliage.

Daubenton's Bat Another bat of interest is the Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentoni. Although it is not a close relative of the Whiskered or Brandt's bat, it's worthy of metion here. It is quite common throughout Europe, into western Russia, and the southern Siberian region, east to the Pacific Ocean. It has steadily increased in numbers all over Europe while many other bat species have declined. Some studies imply that Daubenton's bat may take advantage of polluted areas where the lakes and rivers are fairly dirty and bear a lot of small insects.



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