Nyctalus is a genus of vespertilionid bats commonly known as the noctule bats. They are distributed in the temperate and subtropical areas of Europe, Asia and North Africa.

There are eight species within this genus:

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Tribe: Pipistrellini
Genus: Nyctalus
Bowdich, 1825

See also


  • D.E. Wilson & D.M. Reeder, 2005: Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third Edition. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
Azores noctule

The Azores noctule (Nyctalus azoreum) is a species of bat found in the dry forests of the Azores. It is the only species of mammal endemic to the Azores. It has been recorded on most of the islands of the Azores, and remains common on some but is rare on others. Its numbers are threatened due to habitat loss caused by humans, and the remaining populations are quite fragmented. It is known to roost in hollowed-out trees, buildings, and caves.

The species is related to the widespread lesser noctule, and in the past was treated as a subspecies of that species. Genetic studies have found that it originated recently from lesser noctules which colonised the Azores, and has low levels of genetic divergence from its parent species. It nevertheless is much smaller than the lesser noctule and weighs less, has darker fur and has a different frequency of echolocation calls (about 4–5 Hz higher), and is usually treated as a separate species.The Azores noctule is the only known species of bat in the world that hunts insects principally by day, although a single population of the soprano pipistrelle in northern Italy has also been discovered doing so. It has been hypothesised that the Azores noctules can forage during the day due to the absence of avian predators in the Azores, since it is thought that other bats forage nocturnally in order to avoid predatory birds such as hawks and falcons. Azores noctules still seem to exhibit some anti-predator behaviour, such as leaving their roosting sites in groups, but this may be related to foraging behaviour or non-avian predators such as rats.

Birdlike noctule

The birdlike noctule (Nyctalus aviator) is a species of bat. An adult birdlike noctule has a body length of 7.1-9.5 cm, a tail of 5.5-6.4 cm, and a wing length of 5.8-5.95 cm. It nests in the holes in old trees and buildings, and sometimes in mineshafts. It is distributed across Northeast Asia, from northeast China and Siberia through the Korean Peninsula to Japan.

Along with the greater noctule bat and the Asian great evening bat, this is one of three bat species to prey on small, nocturnally-migrating birds, pursuing them in open air. At least one specific bird, Middendorff’s grasshopper warbler (Locustella ochotensis), has been identified based on faecal DNA in the diet of N. aviator in Japan.

Chinese noctule

The Chinese noctule (Nyctalus plancyi) is a common and widespread species of bat belonging to the family Vespertilionidae.

Common noctule

The common noctule (Nyctalus noctula) is a species of bat common throughout Europe, Asia, and North Africa.


Falsistrellus is a genus of vespertilionid family of bats, small predatory flying mammals. The type species describes a specimen found in Australia. The poorly researched species have been variously placed by authors, and revised again by studies of their distinct characteristics, consequently the falsistrelles may also be referred to as pipistrelles or false pipstrelles.

Greater noctule bat

The greater noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) is a rare bat found in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. It is the largest and least studied bat in Europe with a wingspan of up to 46 centimetres (18 in) and is one of the few bat species to feed on passerine birds. Greater noctule bats are the only bat species to hunt birds on the wing rather than when roosting. The greater noctule bat has wings adapted for open-air hunting and uses echolocation frequencies above the hearing range of birds.

Hypsugo anthonyi

Hypsugo anthonyi, also known as Anthony's pipistrelle, is a species of vesper bat. It is known from a single specimen, collected at Changyinku, Burma, at 7000 ft (2134 m) altitude. Its taxonomic status is doubtful; while currently classified in Hypsugo and previously in Pipistrellus, it may also belong to Nyctalus or Philetor.

The IUCN Red List lists the species as "Data Deficient" because so little is known about it.

Japanese noctule

The Japanese noctule (Nyctalus furvus) is a species of bat belonging to the family Vespertilionidae. It is endemic to Japan.

Johann Philipp Achilles Leisler

Johann Philipp Achilles Leisler (1 August 1771 or 1772 – 8 December 1813) was a German physician and naturalist.

Leisler named a number of birds, including the Temminck's stint, which he named after his friend Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778–1858). He is commemorated in Leisler's bat, Nyctalus leisleri, first described by Heinrich Kuhl (1797–1821).He was a founding member of the Wetterauischen Gesellschaft für die gesamte Naturkunde (Wetterauische Society for Natural History) at Hanau.His daughter, Luise von Ploennies (1803–1872), was known for her poetry and dramas.

Lesser noctule

The lesser noctule or Leisler's bat (Nyctalus leisleri), also known as the Irish Bat, is a species of bat belonging to the vesper bat family, Vespertilionidae.

Mountain noctule

The mountain noctule (Nyctalus montanus) is a species of bat found in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal.


For the light aircraft manufacturer, see Pipistrel.

Pipistrellus is a genus of bats in the family Vespertilionidae and subfamily Vespertilioninae. The name of the genus is derived from the Italian word pipistrello, meaning "bat" (from Latin vespertilio "bird of evening, bat").

The size of the genus has been considerably reduced as a result of work during the 1990s and 2000s, with genera such as Arielulus, Hypsugo, Falsistrellus, Neoromicia, Parastrellus, Perimyotis, Scotozous, and Vespadelus being split off. Still, molecular evidence suggests the genus is not monophyletic. Several other genera in the subfamily Vespertilioninae have also been merged with Pipistrellus in previous classifications. Species in the genus may be referred to as "pipistrelles" or "pipistrelle bats", though these terms are also used for species now placed in other genera, such as the western pipistrelle (Parastrellus hesperus) and eastern pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus) of North America. Species of the southern hemisphere separated to genus Falsistrellus are sometimes referred to as 'false pipistrelle' or 'falsistrelle'.They are somewhat distinguished from their much larger relatives, the noctule bats Nyctalus by their weak, fluttery flight reminiscent of a butterfly, though a few species are more direct in their flight.

Rodney Stoke SSSI

Rodney Stoke (grid reference ST492507) is a 69.6 hectare (172.0 acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, just north of the village of Rodney Stoke in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, notified in 1957.

Part of the site is a national nature reserve and part a Nature Conservation Review Woodland site. This site supports a mosaic of ancient semi-natural broadleaved woodland, scrub and species-rich unimproved grassland. Rodney Stoke occupies steep south west facing slopes of the Mendip Hills. The underlying rock types belong to the dolomitic conglomerate facies of the Triassic, and to the Carboniferous Limestone series. The latter are restricted to the woodlands Big Stoke and Little Stoke, which along with Calve's Plot Wood are ancient woodland sites. Big Stoke and Little Stoke were almost entirely clear-felled during World War I. Two nationally rare plants occur at Rodney Stoke: purple gromwell (Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum) and the endemic whitebeam (Sorbus anglica). The site supports a diverse fauna. Badgers (Meles meles) are common and two or three setts are occupied each year. Noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) and pipistrelle bats (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) roost in Big Stoke. Breeding birds include buzzard (Buteo buteo) and spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata). Small enclosures and tall hedges provide sheltered conditions that are ideal for many species of invertebrate. Butterflies are well represented with marbled white (Melanargia galathea), purple hairstreak (Quercusia quercus), brown argus (Aricia agestis) and grayling (Hipparchia semele).

Rüppell's pipistrelle

Rüppell's pipistrelle (Pipistrellus rueppellii) is a species of vesper bat found in Africa and Asian republics such as Iraq and Israel. It is found in dry and moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, and hot deserts.


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

Species of subfamily Vespertilioninae


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