The common long-eared bat is the second most common bat in the UK and is a highly agile hunter, using its unusually large ears to listen for prey.

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Appearance

As is suggested by its name, the most noticeable thing about this bat is its ears!  A small bat with buff-coloured body and a paler underside, the common long eared bat has ears that measure 34 to 38 mm long - nearly the same length as the rest of their body. It has long, silky fur, large eyes and slit shaped nostrils. Its wings are thin and translucent.

While they are in flight, the long eared bat keeps its ears fully upright and extended forwards to help it hunt. When the bats are resting, they are able to curl their ears sideways, a little bit like the horns of a ram!  During hibernation, they tuck their ears right down, with only the pointed ear covers showing. 

The grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus), which is endangered in the UK, differs from the common long-eared bat, as it is greyer in colour and larger.

 

Photo: Evelyn Simak

Read More: Habitat

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