Alpine long-eared bat

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Alpine long-eared bat
Plecotus macrobullaris - Ph. Karol Tabarelli de Fatis.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Plecotus
P. macrobullaris
Binomial name
Plecotus macrobullaris
Kuzjakin, 1965
  • Plecotus auritus macrobullaris Kuzjakin, 1965
  • Plecotus alpinus Keifer & Veith, 2001
  • Plecotus microdontus Spitzenberger, Haring, & Tvrtković, 2002

The Alpine long-eared bat or mountain long-eared bat (Plecotus macrobullaris) is a species of long-eared bat. It was originally described from Switzerland and Austria as a species intermediate between the brown long-eared bat and the grey long-eared bat in 1965. It was later described in 2001 and 2002, from France and Austria, respectively. Despite its name, this species is not restricted to the Alps, being found in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina[2] and elsewhere. It differs from other European long-eared bats, such as the brown long-eared bat, by its white underparts.

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

Close view of the chin pad of the bat Plecotus macrobullaris.

It was described as a new subspecies in 1965 by A. Kuzjakin, who considered it a subspecies of the brown long-eared bat, Plecotus auritus. Its trinomen at the time was Plecotus auritus macrobullaris.[1] In 2001, authors attempted to describe a new species of long-eared bat, Plecotus alpinus.[3] In 2002, another set of authors attempted to describe another new species, Plecotus microdontus.[4] However, in 2003, it was determined that both P. alpinus and P. microdontus were incorrectly described. DNA analysis showed that both "species" were synonymous, and according to the Principle of Priority, the oldest name should apply to this species. Thereafter, its binomial was Plecotus macrobullaris.[5] Its species name "macrobullaris" is from Ancient Greek "makrós" meaning "long" and Latin "bulla" meaning "knob-shaped," possibly referencing the auditory bulla.


Its diet is mainly based on moths, which are captured in open areas such as grasslands and meadows, including alpine meadows.[6]


The Alpine long-eared bat has been recorded from Andorra, France and Spain in the Pyrenees; in the Alps it has been recorded from France to Slovenia, in the Dinaric Alps and through the Balkans to Greece. It is also found on Crete and Corsica. In Asia is occurs in Anatolia through the Caucasus as far south as Iran and Syria.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Piraccini, R. (2016). "Plecotus macrobullaris". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T136229A22002229. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ "SARAJEVO Otkrivena nova vrsta šišmiša u BiH". Dnevni avaz. Sarajevo. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2017.
  3. ^ Kiefer, A.; Veith, M. (2001). "A new species of long-eared bat from Europe (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)" (PDF). Myotis. 39: 5–16.
  4. ^ Spitzenberger, F.; Haring, E.; Tvrtković, N. (2002). "Plecotus microdontus (Mammalia: Vespertilionidae), nova vrsta šišmiša iz Austrije". Natura Croatica: Periodicum Musei Historiae Naturalis Croatici. 11 (1): 1–18.
  5. ^ Spitzenberger, F.; Strelkov, P.; Haring, E. (2003). "Morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequences show that Plecotus alpinus Kiefer & Veith, 2002 and Plecotus microdontus Spitzenberger, 2002 are synonyms of Plecotus macrobullaris Kuzjakin 1965". Natura Croatica. 12 (2): 39–53.
  6. ^ Alberdi A, Garin I, Aizpurua O, Aihartza JR (2012) 'The foraging ecology of the Mountain long-eared bat Plecotus macrobullaris revealed with DNA mini-barcodes.' PLoS ONE 7(4): e35692.