Greater Mouse-eared Bat, Myotis myotis
The greater mouse-eared bat (Myotis myotis) is a vesper bat that can be found in many areas of Europe including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, and Germany, among many other areas. During the summer nursery roosts are made in northern Europe, and are almost always located in attics of large buildings, like churches. In southern Europe, these roosts can be found in caves, or bat boxes in western Poland and Germany. The winter roosts of these bats are always underground, in areas like caves, mines, and large cellars.
The greater mouse-eared bat is one of the largest bat species in Europe, weighing only 1.6 ounces. It does not use echolocation to hunt for food, but does use it for moving about through the air. The main diet of this bat consists of spiders, carabid beetles, and centipedes, which it gleans off the ground or other surfaces.
In Italy, the greater mouse-eared bat was the focus of a LIFE-Nature project, which began in 2012 in order to help conserve the species, specifically in the Gola della Rossa and Frasassi Nature Park in the Marches. In Great Britain, it was thought that this species was extinct during the 20th century, after the last male bats disappeared from the only known breeding site. Despite this, some individuals have been reported, so it is though that a colony survived or migrated into Great Britain from Europe’s mainland. The greater mouse-eared bat appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Image Caption: Greater Mouse-eared Bat, Myotis myotis. Credit: Manuel Werner/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)