Quick facts

Common name: Daubenton's bat

Scientific name: Myotis daubentonii

Family: Vespertilionidae

Habitat: woodland and grassland close to fresh water

Diet: invertebrates

Predators: birds of prey and domestic cats

Origin: native

What do Daubenton's bats look like?

Daubenton's bats have brown fur, black wings and a pink face. Their undersides are a pale, silvery colour.

They weigh up to 15g (slightly less than a robin) and have a wingspan of around 25cm.

They typically live for around five years.

Did you know?

Daubenton's bat was named in honour of 18th century French naturalist Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton.

Daubenton's bat flying low over water

Credit: Stephen Dalton / Alamy Stock Photo

What do Daubenton's bats eat?

Flies, midges and caddisflies are the species’ main prey. They hunt these insects by flying low over water and catching them in their mouths or scooping them up with their tails. Prey is often eaten on the wing, but may be taken to a perch if particularly large.

How do Daubenton's bats breed?

Mating takes place in autumn, with the young born the following spring or summer. Females gather to raise their young in maternity roosts, with the pups becoming fully independent after around two months.

Hibernation

Daubenton’s bats tend to hibernate alone, choosing warm sheltered spots underground, such as in mines or caves. The species become less active from October onwards as the weather begins to cool. By December, bats are in full hibernation and will not emerge until the onset of spring.

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Daubenton's bat roosting in tunnel

Credit: Robin Chittenden / Alamy Stock Photo

Where do Daubenton's bats live?

Daubenton’s bats are found throughout the UK, with the exception of the most mountainous parts of Scotland. The species may be spotted in woodland and grassland provided there is fresh water nearby for hunting. Its summer, roosts are always close to water and may be under bridges, inside mines and caves or within tree holes.

Daubenton's bat in flight

Credit: blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo

Signs and spotting tips

Your best chance of seeing a Daubenton’s bat is to watch a body of open, fresh water at dawn or dusk. If you’re lucky, you may see the bats swooping down over the water in search of prey.

Threats and conservation

There is a lack of certainty around Daubenton’s bat numbers, but the species is not thought to be in serious decline. Possible threats include a fall in the bat’s insect prey, as well as the removal of waterside trees and vegetation.