Mediterranean area of north-west Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and many islands, as well as within the European Mediterranean region. Also in the east, from Turkey through Syria and Lebanon to Israel. Further east occurs in Iran, Iraq and Uzbekistan. Bulgaria – in the lower parts of the country, karst regions.1
A medium-sized bat with a grey to grey-brown dorsal fur and grey-white venter. The ears and flight membranes are grey-brown. The flight membrane is hairy on both sides. The tragus is slightly S-shaped. The nostrils protrude markedly forwards. The feet are large and they have long hairs.
The 3-7 ms frequency-modulated signals drop from 70 – 90 kHz usually down to 35 – 39 kHz. The signals are very similar to those of Daubenton’s Bat, but the end frequency of the Long-fingered bat is usually higher and the sounds are longer than those of Daubenton`s and Pond Bats in the same hunting situation.
Karst areas, near water in wooded landscapes. Hunting grounds are particularly over standing or slow-flowing waters, and standing water areas of smaller waterways. At the coast often hunts over lagoons, sometimes even above the open sea. The Long-fingered Bat is a short to middle-range migrant. Animals from widely distributed summer colonies in Bulgaria and northern Greece aggregate in a few large winter colonies, with well over 20,000 animals in each. The distances recorded so far are mainly around 100 km. Two large winter colonies in the Bulgarian Rhodope mountains probably extend far into northern Greece, the European part of Turkey and the Bulgarian Maritza plain.
All year round in caves and mines.
The species forms year-round colonies with clusters of 30 – 500 animals, often they are mixed with other cave-dwelling bat species. In Bulgaria and Albania there are large nursery roosts with over 10,000 and more individuals. In Bulgaria the colonies of the Long-fingered Bat are mixed with the Common bent-wing bat. In Bulgaria, births take place as early as the beginning to the end of May. At 18 days old, young animals already fly in the cave. Mating takes place at the end of September and in early October in the caves used as winter roosts.
Usually flies in large circles above water at 10 – 25 cm height. Once located, prey is taken from the water’s surface with the long feet or end of the tail membrane. The food consists to a large extent of flies and caddisflies; in lesser proportions also water boatmen, moths and Hymenoptera.
Because of the crane fly control and pesticide use with spray planes in agricultural areas traditional roost caves were abandoned. Only a few reproductive colonies left in France and Spain. In Bulgaria there are still large populations.
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”.