Brown long-eared bat

The brown long-eared bat or common long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) is a small Eurasian bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It is extremely similar to the much rarer grey long-eared bat which was only validated as a distinct species in the 1960s.

An adult brown long-eared bat has a body length of 4.5-4.8 cm, a tail of 4.1-4.6 cm, and a forearm length of 4-4.2 cm. The ears are 3.3-3.9 cm in length, and readily distinguish the long-eared bats from most other bat species.

They are relatively slow flyers compared to other bat species.

Brown long-eared bat
Plecotus auritus 2013-2 (cropped)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Plecotus
P. auritus
Binomial name
Plecotus auritus

Vespertilio auritus Linnaeus, 1758


It is found throughout Europe, with the exception of Greece, southern Italy and southern Spain. The UK distribution can be found on the National Biodiversity Network website and can be seen here.

Brown long eared bats regularly utilise buildings roosting in undisturbed roof spaces either singly, in crevices and timber, or in clusters around chimneys and ridge ends. This species also roosts in treeholes, bat boxes and caves which are important as winter hibernation sites. The roosts in trees may be close to the ground. Emergence from roost sites usually only occurs in the dark, around an hour after sunset.[3]

It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths, gleaning insects from leaves and bark. Prey is probably detected by sight and sound using the large eyes and ears, not by echolocation. A study by Eklöf and Jones (2003)[4] demonstrated the ability of the brown long-eared bat to visually detect prey. Under experimental conditions, brown long-eared bats showed a preference for situations where sonar and visual cues were available. However, visual cues were more important than sonar cues and the bats were unable to detect prey items using only sonar cues. Brown long-eared bats have relatively large eyes and ears and it is likely that visual information and passive listening allow this species to detect prey in cluttered environments.[5]


Echolocation is used to find prey. The frequencies used by this bat species for echolocation lie between 27–56 kHz, have most energy at 35 kHz and have an average duration of 2.5 ms. However unlike most bats Long Eared can hunt by hearing alone. Their hearing is sensitive enough to hear a moth in flight. This hunting strategy evolved because prey items, namely certain moth species evolved the ability to hear the echolocation and take evading action. T[6][7]


Haeckel Chiroptera Plecotus auritus 1

Drawing by Ernst Haeckel

Haeckel Chiroptera Plecotus auritus 2

Detail of head

Plecotus auritus ras

Woodcut from R. A. Sterndale, 1884


  1. ^ Hutson, A.M.; Spitzenberger, F.; Aulagnier, S.; et al. (2008). "Plecotus auritus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008: e.T17596A7154745. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  2. ^ Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiæ: Laurentius Salvius. p. 32. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  3. ^ Russ, J. 1999. The Bats of Britain and Ireland. Echolocation calls, sound analysis, and species identification. Powys: Alana Books.
  4. ^ Eklöf, J. & Jones, G. 2003. Use of vision in prey detection by brown long-eared bats, Plecotus auritus. Animal Behaviour, 66, 949-953.
  5. ^ "The Bats of Britain". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  6. ^ Parsons, S. and Jones, G. (2000) 'Acoustic identification of twelve species of echo-locating bat by discriminant function analysis and artificial neural networks.' J Exp Biol., 203: 2641-2656.
  7. ^ Bristol, M.K., Boesch, R. and Flickerecfeffew, P.F. (2004) 'Variability in echolocation call design of 26 Swiss bat species: Consequences, limits and options for automated field identification with a synergic pattern recognition approach.' Mammalia., 68 (4): 307-32.

External links

Alpine long-eared bat

The Alpine long-eared bat or mountain long-eared bat (Plecotus macrobullaris) is a species of long-eared bat. It was originally described from Switzerland and Austria as a species intermediate between the brown long-eared bat and the grey long-eared bat in 1965. It was later described in 2002, from France and Austria, respectively. Despite its name, this species is not restricted to the Alps, being found in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and elsewhere. It differs from other European long-eared bats, such as the brown long-eared bat, by its white underparts.

Chafford Gorges Nature Park

The Chafford Gorges Nature Park is a 200-acre (81 ha) nature reserve located in Chafford Hundred, England and managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. It includes two Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Grays Thurrock Chalk Pit has been designated for its biological interest, and Lion Pit for geological interest.

Grey long-eared bat

The grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus) is a fairly large European bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths. It is extremely similar to the more common brown long-eared bat, and was only distinguished in the 1960s, but has a paler belly.

Hangman's Wood and Deneholes

Hangman's Wood and Deneholes is a 3 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Little Thurrock in Essex. The deneholes, which were created by medieval chalk mining, are a Scheduled Monument.The name Hangmans Wood dates back to at least the mid 17th century when it was recorded on an estate map. Trees in the wood include oak, ash, sycamore and wild cherry.

The wood contains a number of deneholes which were investigated by the Essex Field Club at the end of the 19th century. There is normally no access to the deneholes, but permission can be obtained from the council. The deneholes are the most important underground hibernation sites for bats in Essex, with three species; Brown long-eared bat, Natterer's bat and Daubenton's bat. The oak woodland is ancient, and it provides a feeding habitat for the bats.The deneholes in the wood, which were sometimes known as Cunobeline's gold mines, are described by English Heritage as medieval or post-medieval and were used for chalk or flint mining. They are a scheduled ancient monument. The origin of these deneholes is discussed by Tony Benton. There appears to have been more than 70 holes in the wood at one time, concentrated to the north of the wood. Most only survive now as shallow dips in the ground.

The bridlepath which crosses Grangewood Avenue and runs beside Woodside School to connect Hangman's Wood with nearby Terrel's Heath is part of an ancient route from Coalhouse Point in East Tilbury to the bridge or causeway at Aveley.

Het Groene Woud

Het Groene Woud (The Green Forest) is a special area of the Netherlands which is located in North Brabant between the cities of Tilburg, Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch. It includes nature reserves such as the Kampina, the Oisterwijk forests and fens, Velderbos and the Dommel.

In 2004 "Het Groene Woud" is designated by the government as a National Landscape. This is to prevent the area between the three large cities from becoming more urbanized.

The combination of nature, sustainable agriculture and environmental recreation form a valuable cultural and historical landscape. "Het Groene Woud" covers a total of 7,500 hectares of marshes, meadows and agricultural landscape. It covers the municipalities Boxtel, Sint-Oedenrode, Schijndel, Sint-Michielsgestel, Best, Oirschot, Oisterwijk, Haaren and Vught.

In Het Groene Woud, many species of mammals can be encountered:

These include: roe deer, European badger, Eurasian harvest mouse, European polecat, European water vole, European hedgehog, Eurasian red squirrel, common pipistrelle, European hare, brown long-eared bat, stoat, serotine bat, European mole, Natterer's bat, least weasel, red fox, Daubenton's bat, beech marten and several species of shrew, dormice, apodemus and arvicolinae.

In the near future will possibly red deers be re-introduced in the area.

Hiking, canoeing and cycling activities are possible in this area.

Lake Sai Bat Cave

Lake Sai Bat Cave (Japanese: 西湖蝙蝠穴, Saiko Kōmori Ana) is the largest of the several lava tubes that are near Lake Sai, in the Aokigahara forest in the northern side of Mt. Fuji, Japan. It is known as a cave where visitors can observe the bats which live there.

List of mammals of the Czech Republic

This is a list of the mammal species recorded in the Czech Republic. There are 71 mammal species in the Czech Republic, of which one is endangered, six are vulnerable, and four are near threatened.

Mount Stogu

Mount Stogu (Romanian: Muntele Stogu) is a protected area (nature reserve IUCN category IV) situated in the administrative territory of Băile Olăneşti, in Vâlcea County within east Romania.

Plagiorchis vespertillionis

Plagiorchis vespertillionis, also sometimes listed as Plagiorchis vespertilionis, is a species of trematode that parasitizes bats.

It was described as a new species in 1780 based on specimens collected from a brown long-eared bat in Denmark.

In 2007, it was documented within a human host for the first time.


The genus Plecotus consists of the long-eared bats. Many species in the genus have only been described and recognized in recent years.


Ryūsendō (龍泉洞) is one of Japan's three largest limestone caverns. It is located in the town of Iwaizumi, Iwate Prefecture, in the Tōhoku region of northern Japan.

Ryūsendō has an accessible length of 1200 meters, making it the 62nd longest in Japan; however, its depth of 249 metres (817 ft) from the entrance to its lowest point is the 5th deepest in Japan. The total confirmed length of the cave is currently 3,631 metres (11,913 ft), although the cave may extend much further. Further exploration has been banned following a fatality in December 1968. The cave system includes at least four underground lakes, the third of which has a depth of 98 metres (322 ft), and the fourth of which (not accessible to the public) has a depth of over 120 metres (390 ft). The cave system is also home to colonies of Greater horseshoe bat, Eastern long-fingered bat, Brown long-eared bat and Hilgendorf's tube-nosed bat as well as Microbats.

Ryūsendō was designed a Natural monument by the Japanese government in 1934. The caves were opened to the public in 1967. Its underground lake system was designated one of the “100 Famous Springs of Japan” in 1985 by the Ministry of the Environment.The adjacent New Ryūsendō (龍泉新洞, Shin- Ryūsendō) caves nearby were discovered in 1967. It claims to be the “first natural cave science museum in the world”, and contains displays of earthenware and stoneware discovered in 1967, together with displays on the geology of the main Ryūsendō caverns.

Tragus (ear)

The tragus is a small pointed eminence of the external ear, situated in front of the concha, and projecting backward over the meatus. It also is the name of hair growing at the entrance of the ear. Its name comes from Ancient Greek tragos, meaning 'goat', and is descriptive of its general covering on its under surface with a tuft of hair, resembling a goat's beard. The nearby antitragus projects forwards and upwards.Because the tragus faces rearwards, it aids in collecting sounds from behind. These sounds are delayed more than sounds arriving from the front, assisting the brain to sense front vs. rear sound sources.In a positive fistula test (for the presence of a fistula from cholesteatoma to the labyrinth), pressure on the tragus causes vertigo or eye deviation by inducing movement of perilymph.


The Vespertilioninae are a subfamily of vesper bats from the family Vespertilionidae.

Vresselse Bossen

East of the village Nijnsel and Hamlet Vressel, Sint-Oedenrode, North-Brabant, Netherlands is the location of the Vresselse bossen or Vresselsche Bosch (Vressels Forest).

The Vresselse Bossen is a forest area of 241 ha. It is owned and managed by the National Forest Service (Staatsbosbeheer).

The forest is named after the nearby hamlet Vressel.

It is a young forest that is planted in a drift-sand ridge.

At the beginning of the 20th century there was scarcely a tree in the area. The area consisted mainly of sand dunes and heathland.

At the edges of the area lived farmers who were severely affected by the shifting sands. To protect the fields was therefore decided to reforest the drift-sand. At that time, almost exclusively pine was used for the reforesting. In the twenties of the 20th century it had become a production forest consisting of Scots pine for the Limburgian mines.

Within the area there are two main fen systems: The Hazenputten and the Oude Putten. Rare vegetation is mainly found around the fens: among others White beak-sedge and bog asphodel can be found here.

The contemporary management by Staatsbosbeheer focuses on getting a more varied forest composition, including native oak, linden and beech. To prevent the Hazenputten from drying, competing vegetation is removed around the pools.

The area around the marshes has been grazed by Highland cattle and Exmoor horses in the past.

The area has a rich bird population. Breeding birds are: yellowhammer, kingfisher, black woodpecker, northern goshawk, little grebe, European green woodpecker, common buzzard, great egret, long-eared owl, coal tit, little owl, barn owl and crested tit.

Also many species of mammals can be encountered:

These include: roe deer, European badger, Eurasian harvest mouse, European polecat, European water vole, European hedgehog, Eurasian red squirrel, common pipistrelle, European hare, brown long-eared bat, stoat, serotine bat, European mole, Natterer's bat, least weasel, red fox, Daubenton's bat, beech marten and several species of shrew, dormice, apodemus and arvicolinae.

The "Hazenputten" was nominated by Staatsbosbeheer for the title of "Most beautiful spot" in the Netherlands in 2013.The Vresselse Bossen are part of Het Groene Woud, a vast nature area between Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Tilburg.

West of the Vresselse Bossen lies the valley of the Dommel, in the northwest the Vresselse Forest reaches the Moerkuilen.

To the north there is the reclaimed heathland of the Jekschot Heath and to the east lies the DAF test track and Mariahout Forest.

Species of subfamily Vespertilioninae


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