Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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Only the possibility of analysing the orientation calls of bats with ultrasound detectors as well as molecular-genetic studies can help distinguish the Soprano Bat as a separate species alongside the Common Pipistrelle. Soprano Bats, on average, are hardly smaller than the Common Pipistrelle, which is common in Central Europe. They can be safely identified only based on a few, and in part, variable features. A first indication of the species is the lighter facial colour not contrasting with the remaining fur colour as in the Common Pipistrelle, which has a blackish “facial mask“. While in the Soprano Bat the best frequency of the echolocation calls varies around 45 kHz, the equivalent call portions of the Soprano Bat are noticeably higher around 55 kHz, but the best frequency of echolocation calls is also adapted to the flight area. There is a tendency for the calls in open areas to be lower than in structurally rich areas, thus between 49 kHz and 53kHz there are overlaps between Soprano Bat and Common Pipistrelle. Because of this, longer call series are important for the identification. Additionally, a physical record, if possible, should confirm acoustical evidence for this species in an area where the Soprano Bat so far is unknown.
The habitat of the Soprano Bats resembles that of the Common Pipistrelle. Apparently, the former are more adapted to water-rich (deciduous) forests at low elevation than the latter. Also, summer and winter roosts of the Soprano Bats don′t fundamentally differ from those of the Common Pipistrelle. Apparently, part of the Soprano Bats is able to conduct long-distance migrations. The Soprano Bat occurs all over Europe, but in varying density. While the species can be common in suitable habitat in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg it counts among the rarer species in NRW. The few certain records in the Rhineland and in Westphalia may have been migrant individuals.
Vierhaus H (2021): Mückenfledermaus (Pipistrellus pygmaeus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2021/04/11