Beautiful Bat Facts: The Long Lived Brandt’s Bat

The best places to potentially cross paths with a Brandt’s bat is in the northern and western sections of England and Wales, where the small bats fly hunt insects in the woodlands. Once in a while, a representative of the species is spotted in southern Scotland or Germany. The bat also calls Austria home where it’s considered an endangered species. The best places to find the species is near small bodies of waters that are located in or near forests. These hunting grounds not only provide the bat with a nearby roost and ready source of water, but also attracts the types of moths, spiders, and other small flying insects this type of bat prefers to dine on.

Many people who come across a Brandt’s bat often mistake them for a whiskered bat, a species that’s not only native to the same regions, but also bears a striking to the Brandt’s bat. They look so much alike, that it was the 1970’s before anyone realized that they were two different species.

The only way to distinguish a Brandt’s bat from a whiskered bat is an up close and personal inspection. The Brandt’s bat coloring is a shade lighter, the shape of their ear’s tragus is subtly different, there’s some small differences in dentition, and the Brandt’s bat has a bulbous penis whereas the whiskered bat’s penal structure is whiskered. Weighing between 0.15 and 0.33ozs with a body length of 35 and 50mm long, the Brandt’s bat is slightly larger.

As winter approaches, The Brandt’s bat seeks underground caves that serve as hibernaculums. In the summer, females form maternity roosts that range from 20 to 60 bats. Mothers care for their pups until the baby turns about six weeks old, at which point the youngster is ready to start hunting for themselves. Young Brandt’s bats are generally strong enough to fly during their third week of life.

Brandt’s bats are insectivores who prefer feeding on small flying insects, spiders, moths. Favored hunting grounds are wooded areas and over small bodies of water. While hunting, they fly low to the ground.

One of the most fascinating things about the Brandt’s bat is how long they live. Some have passed their forty-first birthday, ounce for ounce, this makes them the longest living mammal in the world.

The University of Bristol considers the risk of world-wide extinction for the Brandt’s bat to be low.

Resources:

“Brandt’s bat.” Bat Conservation Trust. Accessed 27 October, 2017. Web. http://www.bats.org.uk/data/files/Species_Info_sheets/brandts_bat.pdf

“Brandt’s Bat.” Gwent Wildlife Trust. Accessed 27 October, 2017. Web. https://www.gwentwildlife.org/species/brandts-bat

“Brandt’s Bat.” University of Bristol School of Biological Sciences. 24 February 2005. Web http://www.bio.bris.ac.uk/research/bats/britishbats/batpages/brandts.htm

“Brandt’s Bat.” Wildscreen Arkive. Web. Accessed 27 October, 2017. http://www.arkive.org/brandts-bat/myotis-brandtii/image-A14655.html

Wiffen, Tina. “Brandt’s Bat.” The Natural History Society of Northumbria. Web. Accessed 27 October, 2017. http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/interests/mammals/mammals-north-east/brandts-bat/

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