Whiskered bat

Myotis mystacinus Kuhl, 1819


Other names
CatalanRatpenat de bigotis
SpanishMurciélago ratonero bigotudo
EnglishWhiskered bat
FrenchMurin Doré
BasqueSaguzar bibotedun
GalicianMorcego de bigotes


This small bat, one of the smallest of Europe, is 35 to 48 mm long (body and head measurement) and the tail is 30 to 43 mm. This species can have a very dark fur or brown. The coloration of the dorsal and the ventral parts are slightly different. The ventral pelage can be more greyish than the dorsal. The young bats are can be dark or grey and darker than the adults. The membrane of the wings is dark as well as the face and the ears. The tragus is pointed and elongated. Its wingspan can measure from 190 to 220 mm with forearms that can measure 32,0 to 36.5 mm while the hindfoot is approximately 7 mm. The ears can measure between 12 to 15 mm and this bat can weigh from 4 to 7 g.

Il·lustració de Toni Llobet extreta de l'obra Els ratpenats de Catalunya (BRAU Edicions, 2012).


It is distributed in all Europe with limitations in the south of Scandinavia and north of the Iberian Peninsula.


The specie can be found in a vast diversity of environments. They can be found in open spaces like the deserts, in spaces with shrubs and grasslands, in humid places and in forests. It can be also seen in in urban areas, but it is less frequent.


The diet includes a huge variety of insects that usually measures 7,5 mm, approximately. The main insects are the flying like Diptera, Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera. It can also hunt, but less frequently, Coleoptera, spiders or caterpillars.


The colonies can have up to 60 individuals and they are usually found in roosts and bird or bat boxes. The colonies are usually composed only by females and they give birth from mid-June to July. The females usually start reproducing at the age of one. The mating occurs during ending of July and beginning of August. The females start to reproduce when they complete one year.


The echolocation has modulated frequencies that are usually long The calls usually begin in the higher frequencies of 75 or 120 kHz and end in frequencies of 28 to 30 kHz with durations of 3 to 6 ms.


This specie is classified as a non-migrant or a short-migrant specie. These bats have their hunting areas up to 5 km from their colonies.


According to The IUCN Red List and the Red List of UE 2007, this specie is considered Least Concern. These bats are protected by national laws and directed by the Eurobats Agreement, the Bern Convention and the EU Habitat and Species Directive. This specie is abundant, and the data doesn’t show huge declines in the population. However, there are some reports that in some specific locations the population has decreased.