Greater mouse-eared bat, Myotis myotis

The greater mouse-eared bat is primarily found throughout Europe. It weighs about 1.6 ounces, has a wingspan of 14-18 inches and its body is 3-3.5 inches long. The Greater mouse-eared bat has a medium brown upper-body and a greyish belly.

This species of bat does not use echolocation for hunting but rather catches its prey from the ground and water surfaces, a process known as gleaning. It finds its prey by listening for the noises that these animals usually make. Its menu consists of beetles, centipedes, and spiders. Echolocation is only used for identifying its surroundings.

Male Greater mouse-eared bats will mate with up to five females per season. The females will then form a maternity colony to give birth in June. The maternity colony provides protection while the mothers alternate hunting. The pups are flying by 3 weeks and sexually mature in 3 months.

Roosting in the summer takes place in attics of large buildings, such as churches. In other areas of Europe the Greater mouse-eared bat can be found roosting in caves, bat boxes, and bird houses. During the winter months caves, mines, large cellars and abandoned forts are used for hibernation.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Chiroptera

Family: Vespertilionidae

Image Caption: Myotis myotis. Credit: Manuel Werner/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)