Greater noctule bat, Nyctalus lasiopterus

The greater noctule bat is found in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. This species of bat is a tree-dweller and roosts in high, hollow, deciduous trees year round. However, the greater noctule bat will roost in pine trees if there is a shortage of hollow trees. This bat chooses a roosting spot by characteristics of a tree more than type of tree; such as, decaying and high off the ground. Females will be found primarily in warmer climates that are ideal for fetal growth and milk production. The males will be more dominant in cooler climates because they require less energy. A large population has been seen in Spain.

The greater noctule bat could be described as a predator due to the fact that it hunts while in flight and feeds on smaller song birds that fly a low altitudes. It uses echolocation like any other member of the species.

A unique feature to the 16- 18-inch wingspan is that the thin material can regrow should it tear. This thin material allows the bat to maneuver accurately and at high altitudes. The body is 3 – 4 inches long while the tail and forearm is about 3 inches. The greater noctule weighs up to 3 ounces. The bat has fur that is usually reddish-brown to dark brown.

The barn owl and the Eurasian eagle-owl are the most common predators of the greater noctule’s roosts.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Chiroptera

Family: Vespertilionidae

Image Caption: The Greater noctule bat. Credit: Nicolharper/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.5)