Let’s just call it Myotis in this article to keep it clear and easy.
A couple of weeks ago, we were walking in a quarry and since we were halfway the autumn that moment, bats were actively settling and searching for spots to get ready for hibernation. The quarry was very low, I don’t know the exact numbers but some hallways were only 2 meters high. There were already a lot of bats hanging from the ceiling, which is low and perfect for observing those cute little fluffy balls. There was one I fell I was fascinated by. He was in the perfect spot. The first thing that we noticed was that he was big, like the size of a regular hand. For a bat here in the surroundings, that’s pretty big. I took some time to take pictures. Once at home, I wanted to know what species it is. I am not an expert myself so I asked around and some time ago I got the chance to ask John Hageman, who knows a lot about them, what species it could be and as I already guessed or suspected, this bat was a rare one, the M.Myotis aka the (EN) Greater Mouse-eared Bat; (FR) Grand Murin; (DE) Mausohr; (ES) Murciélago Ratonero Grande; I am very pleased with the result because when I started cakewalking, I heard that this was the bat to find and it’s a rare one. I decided to collect some information about the bat and put it in a blog post, just for people as interested in me.
The Myotis is one of the largest bats in Europe. The wingspan starts from 35 centimeters and can go up to 43 centimeters. It weight can be between 28 and 40 grams. It weighs the most (just a couple of grams more than during the rest of the year) just before it goes into hibernation and can loose up to the almost the half of its normal body weight during hibernation. This bat is a low-flyer, it hunts on insects on the ground like beetles, spiders, and crickets. They hunt them by listening to the sounds the insects make and not on echolocation itself. it’s the biggest bat of Western-Europe.
The species is listed on the ICUN list as ‘Least concern’ since 2008, before that, they were near threatened so they are recovering from hard times. According to Natuurpunt, they weren’t spotted at all in the summer periods of 1987 till 2002. They are spotted at least once a year these days so they are still rare. These bats become active the first half-hour after the sun goes down and they stay away all night.
Hopefully, we will be able to spot more of this species in the future, they are pretty spectacular.