Myotis daubentonii is a Eurasian bat with relatively short ears. It is found throughout Britain, Europe, and as far as Japan and Korea. It is typically 45 to 55 mm long has an average wingspan of 240 to 275 mm, with an average weight of around 6-12 g (Greenaway & Hutson, 1990). Dorsal fur is a medium to dark brown colour with silvery or brownish grey ventral fur. Fur is of an even length with juveniles having darker fur than adults. It has a reddish pink face and nose, but the area around the eyes is bare. When agitated, the ears are folded and are held almost at right angles to the head. Posterior edge of tragus is convex. Myotis daubentonii is an insectivorous species and uses echolocation to locate its prey, it emits echolocation calls of frequencies between 32 and 85 kHz, though typical calls peak at 45 to 50 kHz and have a duration of 3.3 ms (Parsons & Jones, 2000); (Obrist et al, 2004).
The most common habitats for roost sites in autumn were found to be parkland, woodland and near open-water (Parsons & Jones, 2003).It feeds largely on Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hemiptera, usually foraging 2-25cm above open water and occasionally along woodland paths but rarely within 2m of vegetation (Russ, 1999). M. daubentonii can live up to 22 years but on average only lives 4-4.5 years in Europe (Schober & Grimmberger, 1989). Median emergence time is 84 minutes after sunset (Jones & Rydell, 1994).
- Greenaway, F. & Hutson, A. M.1990. A Field guide to British bats. Middlesex: Bruce Coleman Books.
- 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.
- Parsons, K. N. & Jones, G.2003. Dispersion and habitat use by Myotis daubentonii and Myotis nattereri during the swarming season: implications for conservation. Animal Conservation, 6: 283–290
- Russ, J. 1999. The Bats of Britain and Ireland.Echolocation Calls, Sound Analysis and Species Identification. Alana Books, Bishop’s Castle.
- Schober W. & Grimmberger, E. 1989. A guide to the bats of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn, London.
- Jones, G. & Rydell, J. 1994. Foraging strategy and predation risk as factors influencing emergence time in echolocating bats. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. B. Biol. Sci.346: 445-455.
Compiled by David Mallaburn