Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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The Whiskered Bat has a forearm length of 32-36mm and a weight of 3-8 g. Thus it belongs to the smallest bats in NRW. The mouth and ears of adult animals are noticeably darker than in multiple year Brandt′s Bats. Quite characteristic is their soft dorsal fur. Generally the Whiskered Bat behaves livelier „in hand“ than Brandt′s Bat. A safe species identification of Whiskered Bats is only possible be means of dental characteristics and in males by means of the penis.
The Whiskered Bat is considered an adaptable bat species. Its habitat and hunting territory are semi-open landscapes with individual woodlands and hedge structures all the way to village-like settlements. The species likes to hunt at low elevation along creeks and the banks of ponds or along woodlot edges. At least in Northern Europe, the species is less strongly tied to forest than Brandt′s Bat. The prey spectrum is extremely diverse and stretches from dipterans, moths and hymenopterans over beetles all the way to caterpillars and spiders.
Summer roosts are frequently in and on buildings, for example behinds boards and shutters or behind slate sidings. In the forest, these animals use hiding places behind loose bark and also bird and bat boxes. In such roosts, nursery colonies of up to 60 females gather. Often there are roost switches in the summer months. Males increasingly seek out caves and mine shafts as a day roost.
Whiskered Bats hibernate in caves as well as mine shafts but also in cellars and unused train tunnels. Here they often hang free on the wall or ceiling but also like to hide more or less deeply in crevices. In the hibernaculum, the animals occasionally change their roosting spot.
The majority of records of Whiskered Bats during the summer months, including their nursery colonies, come from the Westphalian Bay and the Northeast of Westphalia. In contrast, during the cold season, most records are located in the hill country and in the Northeast of Westphalia, thus in Sauerland and the Wittgensteiner Land, in the Egge and Eifel. In the North of the Münsterland too there are hibernacula. These patterns of records suggest migrations between summer habitats and winter roosts. One of the largest hibernaculum of Brandt′s and Whiskered Bats, predominantly Whiskered Bats, with over 230 individuals is located in a disused railway tunnel in the Rothaar Mountains. Because the Whiskered Bat uses very similar roosts as the Common Pipistrelle, the detector checks at purported Common Pipistrelle roosts lead to additional records of the Whiskered Bat. In this way, perhaps the limited state of knowledge regarding the summer distribution of this species could be improved.
Frauke Meier und Manuel Graf
Meier F, Graf M (2023): Kleine Bartfledermaus (Myotis mystacinus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27