Myotis brandtii was first discovered in Europe in 1958 (Schober & Grimmberger, 1989), but was only separated from the very similar species, the whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus) in 1970. Both species have long fur, with brown dorsal fur and grayish ventral fur. Brandt’s bat also tends to be slightly lighter in colour and larger in size (Schober & Grimmberger, 1989). Distinguishing features between whiskered and Brandt’s bats lie in the shape of the tragus, penis and features of the teeth (specifically the shape of the 3rd upper pre-molar). Brandt’s has a large cusp at the base on the inside of this tooth. The cusp is bigger than the tiny tooth next to it. Whiskered bats have a smaller cusp or no cusp. Brandt’s Bats are small with pointed faces well covered in dark hair. Typically, they have a body length of 38 to 50mm, weight between 5-9g and are slightly larger on average than the closely related whiskered bat.
The frequencies used by this bat species for echolocation lie between 32 and 103 kHz, have maximum energy density at 51 kHz and have an average duration of 4.2 ms (Parsons & Jones, 2000); (Obrist et al, 2004). Brandt’s bat is typically inhabits mixed and broadleaf forest, and sometimes coniferous forest, often in close proximity to water (Gerell, 1999), where they feed on moths and other flying insects. Summer roosts are often in the roof timbers of buildings and in bat boxes, hibernation sites are in caves, cellars, mines and tunnels (Schober & Grimmberger, 1989). They seem fond of crevices, and are sometimes found roosting in cavity walls and behind vertically hanging tiles.
- Schober W. & Grimmberger, E. 1989. A guide to the bats of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn, London.
- Parsons, S. & Jones, G.2000. Acoustic identification of twelve species of echolocating bat by discriminant function analysis and artificial neural networks. J Exp Biol., 203: 2641-2656
- Obrist, M.K., Boesch, R. & Flückiger, 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.
- Gerrell, R. 1999. Myotis brandtii. In: Mitchell Jones A. J., Amori G., Bogdanowicz W., Kristufek B., Myotis brandtii in PiedmontReijnders P. J. H., Spitzenberger F., Stube M., Thissen J. B. M., Vohralik V., Zima J. (eds.), The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press, London, 104-105
Compiled by David Mallaburn