Common Pipistrelle Bat

Pipistrelle bats are Britain’s most common bat species and the only bat species likely to be seen on the University of Manchester campus. They are a very small bat species, with a body length of around 4cm but their wing span makes them seem much bigger than this at around 20-24cm. Pipistrelle bats emerge soon after sunset and have a fast, sharp and jerky flight, which is usually very difficult to follow. They are known for roosting in buildings, e.g. in roofs, behind soffits and in cavity walls.

Scientific name

Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Did you know..

Pipistrelle bats were thought to be one species until DNA analysis proved them to be separate species in the 1990s; the main distinguishing feature is the Soprano pipistrelle has a higher frequency call, which can be measured using a bat detector.

Similar species

Bat species are very challenging to differentiate without a bat detector. This equipment can be used to play back the echo location call of bats, from which, the frequency, length and noise can be used to identify different species. However, very few bat species inhabit dense urban environments such as the University of Manchester campus and hence if bat species are observed they are most likely to be one of the pipistrelle bat species.

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