Nyctalus lasiopterus

Greater noctule
Greater noctule
Greater noctule


From the Atlantic coast of Europe (France, Spain, Portugal), through Southern Poland to the north, to the Caucasus, Iran, Kazakhstan to the east and Gibraltar, Sicily and southern Greece to the south. Very rare in all its area, most numerous in Spain and Greece. In Bulgaria it is one of the rarest species.1

The largest European bat. Broad muzzle and ears. The fur is dense, long and unicolored-reddish-brown. The skin areas are dark brown. The wings are very long with narrow tips.

The call are long – 35 ms and loud – 18 – 19 kHz. Clearly audible with naked ear and with a detector audibly up to 150 m.

The Greater Noctule bat prefers forests – deciduous and mixed woodlands. In the mountains it can be found in old coniferous tree woodlands.

In the summer in tree holes and rock crevices.

The nursery colonies in Spain are with up to 80 females, but in Bulgaria, they consist of fewer animals (35 females). Birth takes place in June. The female gives birth to one or two young.

Very fast and direct flight – this bat can make very fast dives and then return to the original flight altitude. The food consists of large insects – moths, dragonflies and beetles. There is presence of bird remains in faecal samples of the bats in Italy, Spain and Greece. This is the only European species that attacks birds.

Forestry exploitation of old mountain forests – limitation of suitable 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”.


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