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Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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Braunes Langohr

Brown long-eared bat

Rote Liste NRW: G Gefährdung unbekannten Ausmaßes

Plecotus auritus




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs
The Brown Long-eared bat is a mid-sized bat with very large ears. They are almost as long as the body of the animal and at rest are folded sideward and back. In hibernating animals, the ears are hidden under the wings and only the tragi extend away from the head. The pelage colour on the back and head is brown and the venter is light brown or yellowish-white. The wings are very broad, thin-skinned and, like the ears, brown in colour. Between the nose and ear are raised glandular pads. During the search for food, Brown Long-eared Bats are not very choosy as they glean numerous insects and spiders off the vegetation during a hovering flight. Nevertheless, butterflies caught in flight form the main prey items. Multi-layered deciduous forests are the preferred hunting grounds, but also other types of forest, hedges, orchards and rural settlements are used. The area or activity of a nursery colony is about 100 ha in size. However, the colony′s members utilize a variety of associated roosts between which they change every 2 - 4 days. In search of food, Brown Long-eared Bats move only a few hundred meters from their roost.
For summer roosts tree cavities are preferred besides crevices behind loose bark and often bird and bat boxes. Periodically, Brown Long-eared Bats are encountered in attics of churches or smaller buildings in the vicinity of forests. Tree roosts have been found from the canopy region to the base of the trunk. Hibernation takes place in subterranean and in part very cold roosts. Sporadically hibernating animals were also recorded in tree cavities. Summer and winter roosts are rarely more than 20 km distance from each other. Nursery roosts usually include 5 — 25 females, rarely up to 100. Starting in mid-May the nursery colonies are gathered and in June the young are born. Apparently, the mating period takes place from mid-August to September when they frequently visit special swarming and mating roosts. Hibernation lasts from the end of November to the beginning of March. During this time, the animals may repeatedly change their resting place or even the roost.

The echolocation calls of the Brown Long-eared Bats are quiet and are emitted in rapid succession. For this reason, these bats are difficult to detect with bat detectors, but younger people can hear the social-call series emitted in autumn. Because of their wide distribution and good populations, at least in parts of NRW, the Brown Long-eared Bat is categorized as overall moderately common. However, one has to assume a long-term population decline as a consequence of roost loss through logging and building refurbishments.


Peter Boye


Boye P (2023): Braunes Langohr (Plecotus auritus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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