Common Name
Western Barbastelle Bat
Family
Vespertilionidae
Genus
Barbastella
Species
barbastellus

Pronunciation: bar-ba-stell-a bar-ba-stell-us

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (IUCN Red List)

Diet: Insectivore

Fun Fact: Western Barbastelle Bats produce two types of echolocation pulses when foraging –one is emitted out of the mouth while the other is emitted primarily from the nose!

The Western Barbastelle Bat range is mainly in central and southern Europe, though it is also found in the Caucauses, Morocco, and the Canary Islands. This species has been recorded in mountain areas, up to 7000 feet above sea level.

Western Barbastelle Bats forage almost exclusively on tympanite moths, which are moths with ears capable of hearing bat echolocation calls. Their echolocation calls are much quieter than many other insectivorous bat species, and it is thought that their quiet, nose-emitted “stealth” echolocation calls allow them to approach moths without detection.

A medium-small bat (6 –13 grams) with a pug-shaped nose, Western Barbastelle Bats generally prefer roosting under loose tree bark or cavities, though they have been observed in rock crevices and human buildings. They undergo seasonal migrations to underground roosting sites for the winter, where they hibernate. Their preference for more mature deciduous forests means this species is vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation due to road construction and development.

Staff Pick: Dr. Jon Flanders, International Program Manager

Literature Cited
Piraccini, R.2016. Barbastella barbastellus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T2553A22029285.https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T2553A22029285.en.

Rydell, J., Natuschke, G., Theiler, A., & Zingg, P. E. (1996). Food habits of the barbastelle bat Barbastella barbastellus. Ecography, 19(1), 62-66.

Seibert, A. M., Koblitz, J. C., Denzinger, A., & Schnitzler, H. U. (2015). Bidirectional echolocation in the bat Barbastella barbastellus: different signals of low source level are emittedupward through the nose and downward through the mouth. PLoS One, 10(9), e0135590.

Approximate Range