Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Mammalia / Chiroptera / Vespertilionidae / Vespertilio / Species
Vespertilio murinus - Particoloured bat (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)








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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Vespertilio discolor Natterer, 1819.
  • Parti-coloured bat

N.B. Vespertilio murinus commonly used as an (incorrect) name for Myotis myotis - Mouse-eared bat during the 19th Century (B142)

Alternative species names (the second part of the binomial species names): [Genus] albogularis; [Genus] discolor; [Genus] krascheninnikovi; [Genus] luteus; [Genus] michnoi; [Genus] siculus; [Genus] ussuriensis; (B141).

Names for new-borns / juveniles

Names for males --
Names for females --

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General Appearance

Medium-to large bat, "frosted" back (brown covered with silver), squarish ears with thin translucent membranes, tragus short, curved, end blunt and rounded (bean shaped) (B142, B167).

Similar Species

Other bats.

Distinguished by: Distinctive bicoloured dorsal hair (hair base brown, tips silver/cream). Also squarish ears and small bean-shaped tragus. Indistinct post-calcarial lobe (B142).

Sexual Dimorphism --

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Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B51, B141, B142, B143, B147, B148, B167

Husbandry references:

(UK Contacts)

(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

  • --

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Insectivorous bats (Microchiroptera)

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

  • Insectivorous bats (Microchiroptera)

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Husbandry Information


Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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Appearance / Morphology

Measurement & Weight

  • Head-body length: 55-64mm
  • Forearm length: 40-49mm
  • Wingspan: 260-330mm


Height --
Adult weight General
Male --
Female --
New-born weight --
Growth rate --

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General --

Skull: condylobasilar length 14.2-15.5mm (B142).


Ears: short, length slightly less than width, with tragus short, curved (anterior margin concave and posterior margin convex), blunt rounded end: bean shaped (B142, B167)

Dentition (Teeth) --
Eyes --

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Legs and Tracks

  • Claws long (B167).
  • Forearm length: 39-49mm (B167); 40-49mm (B142).
  • Wings narrow and pointed with thin translucent membrane. (B142, B167).
  • Wingspan: 260-330mm (B142).

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  • Tail tip extends beyond membrane by 4-5mm (B167).

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Coat / Pelage

Adult Female
  • Dorsal: Fur base dark brown, tips of hairs light silver/cream.
  • Ventral: white/grey.
  • Skin: dark brown.
  • Membranes: thin and translucent.

(B142, B147, B167)

Variations (If present) --
Moult --
New-born / Juvenile --

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Neonate (New-born) Characteristics


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Detailed Anatomy Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in Wildpro)


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Life Stages / Natural Diet / Physiology

Reproductive Stages

Breeding Season
  • Mating presumably autumn/early winter (B147)
Oestrus / Ovulation
Gestation / Pregnancy
Parturition / Birth
  • June/early July (B147).
Neonatal development
  • 6-7 weeks: weaned (B147).
Litter size
  • Central Europe: two, occasionally three.
  • Scandinavia: one or two.


Time between Litters / Litters per year
  • One per year (B147).
Lactation / Milk Production --
Sexual Maturity
Longevity --

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Natural Diet

  • Insects: small dipterans, beetles, moths, aphids etc. (B143, B147).

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Detailed Physiology Notes
(Summary information provided for pertinent species-specific data cross-referenced in Wildpro)

Temperature --
Pulse --
Respiration --
Faeces --
Haematology / Biochemistry --
Chromosomes --
Other --

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Feeding Behaviour

  • Forage usually at 10-40m.
  • Capture prey in flight

(B143, B147)

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Parental Behaviour


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Social Behaviour / Territoriality

Intra-specific Summer:
  • Maternity colonies usually of 10-100 adult females and their offspring.
  • Form in May, disperse in August
  • Males usually roost alone or in small groups; occasionally larger colonies of more than 200 individuals.


  • Alone or in small groups


Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

  • Promiscuous (B142).

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Predation in Wild


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Activity Patterns

  • Fly usually at more than 20m above ground level (B147).
  • Emerge from roost late in the evening (B147).

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Habitat and Range

General Habitat Type

  • Large forest areas.
  • Also steppes, towns, cities.


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Nests / Burrows / Shelters

  • Roosts: In very narrow crevices in vicinity of rocks, also use human-built structures (B147)
  • Nursery colonies: usually in low houses (often modern well-insulated buildings); also in hollow trees and nest boxes in Russia (B143).
  • Hibernation: in tall buildings, often in cities (B143).

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Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

  • Central Europe to south-eastern Siberia, Afghanistan and Iran (B142, B147).
  • Scandinavia, Siberia to Iran, and Afghanistan (B51).


  • Migratory.
  • Range from few kilometres (e.g. Denmark) to several hundred kilometres (eastern and central Europe) between summer and winter roosts.
  • Recorded movements of as far as 800 and 850km.
  • (B142, B143, B147).
Occasional and Accidental
  • Vagrant elsewhere in Europe, including occasionally in Britain (B51, B142)


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Intraspecific variation

Two subspecies recognised:
  • Vespertilio murinus murinus (most of range).
  • Vespertilio murinus ussuriensis Wallin, 1969 (south-eastern Siberia, Korea, north-eastern China).


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Conservation Status

Wild Population -

No evidence of declining populations (B143).

General Legislation
  • Bern Convention, Appendix II.
  • Bonn Convention, Appendix II.
  • EU Habitats and Species Directive, Annex IV.


CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats --
Captive Populations --
Trade --

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