Natterer's bat

Natterer's bat ©Tom Marshall

Natterer's bat

Scientific name: Myotis nattereri
The natterer's bat can found across the UK, although it is a scarce species. It prefers to forage low down among trees, often taking prey directly from the foliage.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 4-5cm

Wingspan: 24.5-30cm

Weight: 7-12g

Average lifespan: 7 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive.

When to see

March to November

About

The natterer's bat is a medium-sized bat. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Natterer's bats also forage on beetles and spiders that they take directly from foliage. Their flight is relatively slow and they can be found hunting over water and among the trees after sunset. They roost in old buildings like churches and castles, but rarely in houses. During summer, the females form maternity colonies and have a single pup. Natterer's bats hibernate over the winter in caves, disused mines and rock crevices.

How to identify

The natterer's bat is a medium-sized bat, with fairly long ears and a bare, pink face. Its fur is light brownish-grey on its back and pale on its belly. There is a row of stiff hairs on the edge of its tail membrane.

Distribution

Widespread, but scarce in the UK.

Did you know?

Natterer's bats will hibernate in small rock crevices, squeezing themselves into odd positions, including lying on their backs or sides, or even on their heads! They tend to hibernate alone or in small groups.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.