Bechstein’s Bat (Myotis bechsteinii)


Small bat on hand
CorinaDanielaObertas / Envato

Bechstein’s bat, scientifically known as Myotis bechsteinii, is a captivating species of vesper bat found in Europe and western Asia. This remarkable mammal is characterized by its medium size, with a wingspan of approximately 240-275mm and a body length of 45-55mm. Its fur is a distinctive reddish-brown color, and its ears are relatively short compared to other bat species, giving it a unique appearance within the bat family.


Bat perched on a branch
CreativeNature_nl / Envato

The Bechstein’s bat possesses several distinguishing features that set it apart from similar species. Its fur is notably longer and softer, and its ears are rounded with a distinctive tragus, contributing to its elegant and distinctive appearance. This bat’s striking physical characteristics make it a fascinating subject for researchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.


Adult bat on a branch
Lifeonwhite / Envato

Bechstein’s bat is primarily found in extensive areas of woodland in Europe and western Asia. Its distribution includes countries such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and parts of southwestern Asia. Notably, this species is known to inhabit mixed forests, where it finds suitable roosting and foraging grounds.

Habitat Preferences

This species thrives in woodland habitats, particularly in ancient and mature forests. Bechstein’s bat relies on these ecosystems for roosting, foraging, and hibernation. The presence of diverse insect populations within these environments sustains the bat’s dietary needs, contributing to its survival and well-being.

Bechstein’s bat’s preference for woodland areas underscores the importance of conserving and preserving these habitats to ensure the continued existence of this remarkable species.

Facts About Bechstein’s bat

  • Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) is a rare species that lives in woodland areas.
  • It relies on old trees for roosting sites.
  • The females form ‘maternity roosts’ in the summer to give birth and raise their young.
  • This species is found in Europe and western Asia.
  • Bechstein’s bat is one of the rarest bats in the UK, found in parts of southern England and south east Wales.
  • The species is almost exclusively found in woodland habitat.
  • Anecdotal reports suggest these bats may live considerably more than 20 years.
  • All bats in Britain and their roosts are protected by domestic and international legislation.
  • Loss of habitat has made this species rare.
  • The forearm length of Bechstein’s bat is typically between 38.5–46.0 mm.

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