Plecotus austriacus

Grey long eared bat
Grey long eared bat


Europe (without the Scandinavian Peninsula), Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir and South Africa.1 In Bulgaria – in the low parts of the country.

Medium sized bat with very long ears. The muzzle is long and dark grey. The dorsal fur is grey, with at most a slight brownish tint. The ventral side is light grey to whitish, but the base of the fur is black. The ears and the membrane are dark, almost black. The tragus is broad and darkly pigmented.

This species has two harmonics, the first harmonic drops from 40 – 44 kHz to 19 – 25 kHz, the second from 70 – 80 kHz to 38 – 40 kHz. The calls are emitted by the mouth or nose.

Agricultural areas, orchards, pastures, meadows, human settlements and gardens. In Bulgaria it is numerous in karst areas. Sedentary species, the longest proven migration distance is 61 or 62 km. The hunting grounds can be found at a distance of up to 5,5 km from the roosts. The Grey Long-eared bat has characteristic feeding sites where the bat stops to eat the caught insects.

Summer roosts are in buildings and tree holes. They are regularly changed. Winter roosts are in caves and cellars. Very cold tolerant species.

Copulation is in the fall in the places for summer roosts. Nursery colonies are formed in June. One young is born. Adult males are very rare in the colonies. Males are sexually mature at the age of 1, and the females at the age of 2(3) years.

The flight is slow and maneuverable, close to vegetation. The feeding sites can be over 10 per night. Their diet includes moths, beetles, crane-flies and other Diptera.

The species is affected by the renovation of buildings and also remedial timber treatments. Pesticide use in horticulture and agriculture is also a threat.

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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