Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Mammalia / Chiroptera / Vespertilionidae / Myotis / Species
Myotis daubentonii - Daubenton's bat (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
Click Photo for full-page view








Return to top of page

General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Water bat
  • Murin de Daubenton (French)
  • Wasserfledermaus (German)
  • Murciélago de ribera (Spanish)
  • Vespertilio daubentoni Kuhl, 1819; Germany
  • Vespertilio emarginatus Flemming (not of Geoffroy, 1806).
  • Vespertilio aedilis Jenyns, 1839; Durham, England
  • Myotis daubentoni

Alternative species names (the second part of the binomial species names): [Genus] aedilus; [Genus] albus; [Genus] capucinellus; [Genus] lanatus; [Genus] laniger; [Genus] loukashkini; [Genus] minutellus; [Genus] nathalinae; [Genus] petax; [Genus] staufferi; [Genus] ussuriensis; [Genus] volensis (B141).

Names for new-borns / juveniles

Names for males  
Names for females  

Return to top of page

General Appearance

Brown bat with uniformly-coloured short dull fur, narrow unspecialised muzzle and well-spaced ears longer than width (B142).

Similar Species

Distinguished from non-Myotis bat species in Britain and Ireland by combination of:
  • Simple form of nose
  • Wide-spaced ears
  • Lack of post-calcarial lobe to membrane.

Distinguished from other Myotis spp.:

  • Forearm less than 50mm long.
  • Ears less than 12mm long.
  • Tail lacks1mm long stiff bristles, but bears fine hairs 1mm long on edge of tail membrane and calcar.
  • Foot more than half of shin length. Calcar three quarters of foot-to-tail length. Fur dense, even length, with unoiform colour of dorsal hair shafts.Tragus convex posterior (outer) edge (B167).
  • Fur even in length, uniform colour of hairs from base to tips, calcus more than half of foot-tail length, tragus strongly convex posterior margin (B142).

(B142, B167)

Sexual Dimorphism --

Return to top of page


Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B51, B141, B142, B143, B147, B167, B221

Husbandry references:

(UK Contacts)

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

  • --

Return to top of page

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)

Return to top of page

Husbandry Information


Been maintained in captivity for several months; fed on mealworms (B142).

Occasionally may eat small fish (B142).

Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

Return to top of page

Appearance / Morphology

Measurement & Weight

Length Forearm length: 33-40mm (B167); 33.5-40.4mm (B142).
Height --
Adult weight General --
Male --
Female --
New-born weight 2g (B147).
Growth rate Adult size by 9-10 weeks (B147).

Return to top of page


General Skull: --

Nose: Muzzle narrow, unspecialised. Nostrils open outwards, brown, lips pinkish-brown (B167, B142)

Ears: well spaced, to sides rather than top of head, held upright. Relatively short, with longer length than width. Dark brown. Emargination on outer margin. No post-calcarial lobe.Tips often curled back. Tragus medium length, outer edge convex, point rounded (B167, B142)

Dentition (Teeth)
  • I 2/3, C1/1, P3/3, M3/3 (B142).
  • Pink bare skin around eyes (B142, B167)

Return to top of page

Legs and Tracks

  • Feet large, with hairs extending beyond claw (B142).
  • Calcar three quarters of foot-to-tail length (B142).
  • Forearm length: 33-40mm (B167); 33.5-40.4mm (B142).

Return to top of page


  • Edge of membrane bears fine hairs along whole length (B167).

Return to top of page

Coat / Pelage

Adult Female Dull, short even-length fur.
  • Dorsal: medium/dark brown (B142).
  • Ventral: pale buffy grey (B142).
  • Membranes: dark brown (not black), thin, opaque, matt.
  • Face: hairy, brown or pink - around eyes and lips have pink bare skin.

(B167, B142)

Variations (If present)
  • Albino and part-albino individuals both described (B142).
Moult --
New-born / Juvenile --

Return to top of page

Neonate (New-born) Characteristics

Blind until 8-10 days (B147).

Return to top of page

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


Return to top of page

Life Stages / Natural Diet / Physiology

Reproductive Stages

Breeding Season
  • Mating observed in winter in hibernacula: in October, February but probably starts when males come into nursery roosts as young being weaned (B142).
Oestrus / Ovulation --
Gestation / Pregnancy
  • About 5-7 weeks; probably affected by weather (B142).
  • 53-55 days usually (B147).
Parturition / Birth --
Neonatal development
  • 5-6 weeks: weaned.
  • 6-8 weeks: fly.


  • Birth: blind
  • 8-10 days: eyes open
  • Third week: start flying
  • 35-45 days: weaned
  • 9-10 weeks: adult size attained


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

Return to top of page

Natural Diet

  • Insects: Diptera, Hemiptera, Trichoptera (caddis flies) and Lepidoptera, also other insects such as Ephemeroptera and Coeloptera.
  • Possibly small fish.

(B142, B143, B147)

Return to top of page

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

Temperature --
Pulse --
Respiration --
Faeces --
Haematology / Biochemistry --
Chromosomes 2n = 42-44; FNa 50-52 (B142).
Other --

Return to top of page


Feeding Behaviour

  • Forages at low heights (mainly less than 2m above surface).
  • Over open water (often within 1m of surface), also above ground.
  • Catches small insects with tail membrane (formed into pouch) or wing membrane.
  • May also catch small fish at water surface, possibly using feet (B147).

(B142, B147).

Return to top of page

Parental Behaviour


Return to top of page

Social Behaviour / Territoriality

  • Summer: nursery colonies containing mostly adult females but also some males.
  • Winter: mainly solitary (B142).
  • Colonies generally about 100 individuals in both summer and winter; sometimes larger (B147).

Return to top of page

Sexual Behaviour

  • Promiscuous (B142).

Return to top of page

Predation in Wild


Return to top of page

Activity Patterns

  • Enter hibernacula in October or November.
  • Males both enter and leave hibernacula earlier in year than do females.
  • Lasts 175 to190 days in central Europe

(B142, B147)

  • Usually emerge from roosts quite late, when already dark (B142).

Return to top of page

Habitat and Range

General Habitat Type

  • Open wooded areas (B142).
  • Deciduous and mixed forests; associated with lakes, ponds, streams (B143).
  • To 400-700m in summer, 300-1100m in winter (B143).

Return to top of page

Nests / Burrows / Shelters

  • Close to water (nursery roosts within 200m of water in Finland).
  • Summer: hollow trees (usual for nursery colonies), buildings, under bridges. In open or in crevice, also in bird boxes and bat boxes, and in nest tunnels of Riparia riparia - Sand martins (B143).

  • Winter: mainly caves, also mines, cellars, old military fortifications. In crevices, often horizontal crevices.
  • Preferred temperature for wintering sites 3-8°C.

(B142, B143, B147).

Return to top of page

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

  • Palearctic: Ireland (scattered populations) and Portugal in west eastwards to eastern Siberia, Manchuria, Sakhalin, Kamchatka Peninsula, Kurile Islands, Korea, south-eastern China and Tibet, north-eastern India, Japan (B51, B142, B143, B147).
  • Europe: Portugal and Ireland to Urals; north to central Scandinavia and south to southern Italy and northern Greece (B143)
  • Britain: England and Wales; scattered further north (B142).


  • Usually short movements between summer and winter roosts. Up to 19km in England, usually 0.5-88.0km in Germany (B147)
  • Maximum movement distances: 19km recorded in Britain, 215 km recorded continental Europe (B142).
Occasional and Accidental --


Return to top of page


Intraspecific variation

  • Three subspecies recognised.
  • Only Myotis daubentonii daubentonii found in Europe.
  • Northern individuals larger than southern individuals.


Return to top of page

Conservation Status

Wild Population -
  • Abundant and increasing in some areas (B143).

  • In Britain: native, common through much of Britain. Pre-breeding population estimate of about 150,000, including 95,000 in England, 40,000 in Scotland, 15,000 in Wales. Population estimate is "based on a very limited amount of information for the species" although additional knowledge "may not necessarily have made a substantial difference to the estimate". Uses data of abundance relative to other species, combined with a belief that a false impression of rarity is given by a paucity of roost records (B221)

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


CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
  • Disturbance during hibernation, loss of roosts.
  • Also vandalistic killing while hibernating, and timber treatment of buildings used as nursery roosts.


Captive Populations --
Trade --

Return to top of page