Greater mouse-eared bat
|Greater mouse-eared bat|
Like its relatives it eats various arthropods; however, unlike many bats it does not capture prey by echolocation in flight but instead gleans it from the ground, locating the prey passively – listening for the noises produced by creatures such as carabid beetles, centipedes and spiders. Thus, it uses echolocation only for spatial orientation, even if it emits ultrasound calls when approaching prey.
In summer, nursery roosts in northern Europe are located almost exclusively in large attics of buildings (e.g. churches), while in southern Europe they are located in caves. Also solitary males can roost there, although in some countries (Germany, western Poland) there are regular cases of roosting in bird and bat boxes. Greater mouse-eared bats spend winter exclusively in underground roosts, like caves, mines, forts, tunnels and large cellars.
The frequencies used by this bat species for echolocation lie between 22 and 86 kHz, have most energy at 37 kHz and have an average duration of 6.0 ms.
The greater mouse-eared bat can be found in the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Gibraltar, possibly Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
During the 20th century this species was known as a very rare one in Great Britain, occurring only in southern England. However, the bats at the only known hibernation roost declined until only a few males were left, and when these disappeared the species was believed extinct. However, in recent years occasional individuals have been discovered, suggesting either that a colony survives, or that further animals have colonised from mainland Europe.
- Chiroptera Specialist Group 1996. Myotis myotis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 9 July 2007.
- Van den Brink, F H, A Field Guide to Mammals of Britain and Europe, Collins 1967, ISBN 0-00-212093-3
- Siemers, B.M., and Güttinger, R. (2006) 'Prey conspicuousness can explain apparent prey selectivity.' Current Biology., 16 (5): R157-R159.
- Russo, D., Jones, G. and Arlettaz, R. (2007) 'Echolocation and passive listening by foraging mouse-eared bats Myotis myotis and M. blythii.' The Journal of Experimental Biology., 210: 166-176.
- Obrist, M.K., Boesch, R. and Flückiger, P.F. (2004) 'Variability in echolocation call design of 26 Swiss bat species: Consequences, limits and options for automated field identification with a synergic pattern recognition approach.' Mammalia., 68 (4): 307-32.
- Species Action Plan: Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis)
- BBC Inside Out: The Search for the Greater Mouse-eared Bat
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Data related to Myotis myotis at Wikispecies