In Europe – throughout the Mediterranean region including all larger Mediterranean islands. The northern distribution border runs across Central France, South-West Germany, the western part of Switzerland, Northern Italy, Slovenia, South-East Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. In North Africa only in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, North-West Libya and down to the northern edge of the Sahara. Eastwards to Georgia and the Near East. In the Middle East and the west of the Arabian Peninsula. Also distributed through the Caucasus and Iran to China, Japan, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago to Australia, as well as through Sub-Saharan Africa. In Bulgaria it is found in the lower parts of the country, rarely in the mountains.1
Medium-sized, slender bat with a short muzzle. The ears are short, triangular and do not project above the top of the head. Also the ears are widely separated. Short curved tragus. Grey-brown to dark grey dorsal colouring, ventral side paler. Animals in the Balkans have a distinctly defined yellow to cinnamon-brown throat patch in the summer.
Up to 18 ms long calls with peak frequencies of 49 – 53 kHz; shorter calls have a frequency of 50 – 58 kHz. The peak frequencies overlap with those of the Common and Soprano Pipistrelle Bats. But often loud and quiet calls are not a characteristic of the Pipistrellus species. The calls can be heard and recorded from a maximum distance of 20 m.
They prefer hardwood forest-rich areas. Settlements are preferably visited for hunting, and here insects are captured around street lamps. In Bulgaria they can be found in karst areas.
The species undertakes regular seasonal migrations between summer and winter roosts, with a distance of 40 – 100 km. The hunting areas are over a distance of 40 km, on average 15 – 20 km, from the roost.
Mainly in karst caves that are occupied all year round, but also in mines, cellars and other underground sites.
Nursery colonies can comprise hundreds to thousands of animals. For example, up to 60,000 animals in Bulgaria and Croatia.
Mating occurs in the autumn. The egg is immediately fertilized, although the blastocyst is implanted only after the hibernation. Birth takes place from the middle of June to the beginning of July. The young form spectacular clusters.
Their hunting is very manoeuvrable below the canopy of hardwood forests, over streams and other water bodies, close to vegetation and around streets lamps. The food consists particularly of moths (80%), Neuroptera (green lacewing) and Diptera.
European populations are threatened by habitat loss, pesticide use and loss of roosts.
Christian Dietz and Andreas Kiefer (2014), “Bats of Britain and Europe”;
Vasil Popov, Atila Sedefchev (2003), “Mammals in Bulgaria”;
Vasil Popov, Nikolay Spasov, Teodora Ivanova, Borqna Mihaylova and Kiril Georgiev (2007), “Mammals important for conservation in Bulgaria”.