Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Mammalia / Chiroptera / Vespertilionidae / Myotis / Species
Myotis myotis - Large mouse-eared bat (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)








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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Mouse-eared bat
  • Vespertilio myotis Borkhausen, 1794. Germany.
  • Vespertilio murinus Schreber, 1774 (not of Linnaeus 1758. Used during most of 19th century) (N.B. Vespertilio murinus - Particoloured bat).

Alternative species names (the second part of the binomial species names): [Genus] alpinus; [Genus] latipennis; [Genus] macrocephalicus; [Genus] myosotis; [Genus] submurinus; [Genus] typus; (B141).

Names for new-borns / juveniles

Names for males  
Names for females  

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General Appearance

Very large (forearm 57-68mm (B167)). Medium/light brown bat with long, splayed ears reaching below nose if laid forwards. (B142, B167)

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 length more than 50mm (more than 57mm (B142).
  • (B167)
Sexual Dimorphism Males smaller than females e.g. forearm length mean 59.9mm versus 62.4mm for females from same area (B142).

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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

  • --

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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: 65-80mm
  • Forearm: 57-68mm
  • Wingspan: 365-450mm


Height --
Adult weight General 20-45g (B142).
Male --
Female --
New-born weight --
Growth rate --

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General Skull: --

Nose: Muzzle narrow, unspecialised. Pink nostrils and lips (B142, B167)

Ears: Thick,fleshy, well spaced. Held splayed. Relatively long (20-28mm), extend to about 5mm beyond muzzle if laid forwards, and longer length than width. Emargination on outer margin. No post-calcarial lobe. Tragus medium length, with outer edge convex, point blunt (B142, B167)

Dentition (Teeth) I 2/3, C1/1, P3/3, M3/3 (B142).
Eyes --

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Legs and Tracks

  • Calcar three fifths of foot-to tail length (B167).
  • Forearm length: 57-68mm (B142).
  • Wingspan: 365-450mm (B142).

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  • Membrane edge hairless (B167).

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Coat / Pelage

Adult Female Short.
  • Dorsal: medium/light brown (yellowish (B167)), with sharp demarkation along side of neck from
  • Ventral: greyish-white.
  • Membrane: Matt, thick leathery, opaque, reddish
  • Face: Pinkish or brown, bare or almost bare

(B142, 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 in autumn (B142).
Oestrus / Ovulation --
Gestation / Pregnancy
  • 46-59 days (B142); up to 70 days (B147).
Parturition / Birth --
Neonatal development --
Litter size --
Time between Litters / Litters per year --
Lactation / Milk Production --
Sexual Maturity
  • Females: three months old (B142).
  • Males: fifteen months old (B142).
  • Greatest recorded in Britain 15 years; male of over 18 years recorded continental Europe (B142).

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Natural Diet

  • Insects: larger moths, chafers, beetles (B142).
  • Mainly Coleaoptera (B143).

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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

  • Hunt in forests and adjacent open cultivated areas (B143).
  • Catch and eat prey in flight (B142).
  • Glean large insects from ground (B143).

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Parental Behaviour


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Social Behaviour / Territoriality

Intra-specific Summer:
  • Females inlarge nursery colonies
  • Males solitary.
  • Juvenile males may be found with females.
  • Individuals may move between adjacent nurseries


  • Solitary (usual) or small groups


Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

  • Promiscuous (B142).
  • Females visit solitary males to mate (B142).

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Predation in Wild

Owls, particularly Tyto alba - Barn owl (B142).

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Activity Patterns

  • Flight slow, heavy, usually straight, at up to 20m high
  • In winter usually hanging in high exposed sites in roosts.
  • Prefered temperature for hibernation 7-8C (Poland data).(B142).

(B142, B147)

  • Emerge from roosts late, well after dark, returning when still dark about an hour before sunrise (Hungary data).
  • Time of emergence does not appear to be affected by weather conditions.


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Habitat and Range

General Habitat Type

  • Open, lightly wooded areas (B142).

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Nests / Burrows / Shelters

  • Roosts: buildings, caves (summer and winter) (B142, B143).
  • Winter: internal areas of caves used in winter, nearer entrances by spring (B142).
  • Caves and mines used all year in southern areas, but buildings important further north (B143).

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Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

  • Europe, including England, Azores, central and southern Europe, Ukraine, most Mediterranean islands; Asia Minor, Lebanon, Israel (B147)
  • May be extinct in England (B142)
  • Western Eurasia from Iberian Peninsula to Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon and Syria, also in North Africa.(B143)
  • South-west Europe eastwards to Asia Minor; Azores (B51).
  • Europe: Not found Ireland, Britain, most of Scandinavia. Found as far south as Balearic Islands, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily (B143)


  • Occasional migrant. 390km longest movement recorded (B143).
Occasional and Accidental
  • Vagrants to southern Sweden, Latvia (B143).


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Intraspecific variation

  • Three subspecies pesently recognised, of which only nominate form is present in Europe.
  • Size increases from west to east across western Palearctic.


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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
  • Very rare (B167).
  • "Effectively extinct in Britain" (B142).
  • "Nearly exterminated in Great Britain, the Low Countries, and Israel, and colonies have been drastically reduced elsewhere" (B147).
  • Widespread and reasonably abundant (B143).
  • European populations declined from 1950s to 1970s but then stabilised and even increasing (B143).
  • Population in Southern England in 1950s failed by 1990s (B143).
  • In Britain: Extinct. Population estimate is considered to be reliable. (B221)
General Legislation
  • Bern Convention, Appendix II
  • Bonn Convention, Appendix II.
  • EU Habitats and Species Directive, Annex II & Annex IV


CITES listing --
Red-data book listing Lower risk - near threatened (B143, B147)
Threats Disturbance of nursery and hibernating colonies, chemical treatment of wood in roost sites (B143, B147, B221).
Captive Populations  

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