Brown long-eared bat

"Long-eared bat" redirects here. For the American species sometimes known as long-eared bat, see long-eared myotis.
Brown long-eared bat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Suborder: Microchiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Plecotus
Species: P. auritus
Binomial name
Plecotus auritus
(Linnaeus, 1758)[1]

The brown long-eared bat or common long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus) is a small European bat. It has distinctive ears, long and with a distinctive fold. It is extremely similar to the much rarer grey long-eared bat which was only validated as a distinct species in the 1960s.

An adult brown long-eared bat has a body length of 4.5-4.8 cm, a tail of 4.1-4.6 cm, and a forearm length of 4-4.2 cm. The ears are 3.3-3.9 cm in length, and readily distinguish the long-eared bats from most other bat species.

They are relatively slow flyers compared to other bat species.


It is found throughout Europe, with the exception of Greece, southern Italy and southern Spain. The UK distribution can be found on the National Biodiversity Network website and can be seen here.

This species appears to prefer caves as roosting sites, but roosts in trees holes, buildings and bat boxes, as well. The roosts in trees may be close to the ground.

It hunts above woodland, often by day, and mostly for moths, gleaning insects from leaves and bark. This is one of the bats for which eyesight is more important than echolocation in finding prey.[2]


Echolocation is used to find prey. The frequencies used by this bat species for echolocation lie between 27–56 kHz, have most energy at 45 kHz and have an average duration of 2.5 ms.[3][4]


  1. Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10th ed.). Holmiæ: Laurentius Salvius. p. 32. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  2. (Stevens 2005).
  3. Parsons, S. and Jones, G. (2000) 'Acoustic identification of twelve species of echo-locating bat by discriminant function analysis and artificial neural networks.' J Exp Biol., 203: 2641-2656.
  4. Bristol, M.K., Boesch, R. and Flickerecfeffew, 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.
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