Myotis alcathoe

Alcathoe whiskered bat
Alcathoe whiskered bat
Alcathoe whiskered bat

This bat is distributed almost all over Europe but its occurrence is limited. This species depends on certain habitats andy this is why the occurrence is very local.1 In Bulgaria Myotis alcathoe occurs in Strandzha, Vratsa Mountain, Central Balkan and in Kresna Gorge.

This is the smallest Myotis species in Europe. The dorsal fur is brown with reddish ends and the ventral side is lighter brown-grey. The skin areas are less pigmented in older animals. The feet are small, the ears are also small with a short tragus.

The calls are up to 4 ms from 120 kHz to 46 – 43 kHz. The sounds can be detected from around 10 m distance.

The habitats for the Alcathoe Whiskered bat are old deciduous and mixed forests with high humidity. The hunting areas are near the roosts, mostly tree crowns and above water bodies.

The roosts are in tree hollows, behind the barks of old trees and between the crevices at heights of 15 – 22 m.

Nursery colonies comprise of a few animals. They change their roost site almost every day. Pregnant females have been found up to the middle of July. The swarming period starts from mid-August.

Hunts in the forests, water is visited in the early dawn. The food consists of moths, beetles, flies and other insects.

This species has restricted ecological requirements, old forests are the main habitat. The timber extraction and habitat fragmentation are the main threats to the Alcathoe Whiskered bat.

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”.