Lesser mouse-eared bat, Myotis blythii
Populations have been found in southern Europe, southern central Europe and southwestern Asia. The lesser mouse-eared bat is a very social species therefore they travel and remain in groups rather than individually. These groups can be as large as 500 bats and could be mixed with the greater mouse-eared bat.
Their feeding habitats are scrub areas, grasslands, farmland, and some gardens. It eats grass crickets and cockchafers. These insects are hunted by the lesser mouse-eared bat while listening for their calls rather than using echolocation. While this species often catches its prey by hovering and snatching them from the ground, it can also catch prey during flight.
The habitats this species primarily lives in are caves, mines, and sometimes attics. During hibernation periods it needs underground areas that have temperatures ranging from 43° to 54°F and will migrate up to 300 miles to find these locations.
The lesser mouse-eared bat is blackish or greyish on the back while an off-white on the underbelly and is one of the largest of bat species within its region, still weighing less than an ounce and no longer than 3 inches long. Its wings are a dark membrane that attaches to its ankles; it has an above average long tail.
Since the lesser mouse-eared bat is a “colony” species, the females will gather together (maternity colonies) to give birth. Mating is in August but the female is able to store the male’s sperm over the hibernation period and then fertilize during the spring. Food availability will determine when fertilization takes place.