Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bits on Bats 7: All in a day's work

'Aarghh' was the cry that rang through one of our offices at work yesterday morning when staff arrived to find a bat flying round the entrance foyer and stairwell.  Someone eventually made a link to me and I got a call for help.  As often happens in these cases it was one of the biggest blokes calling to report that the smallest women were terrified.  However, when I suggested that he might manage to pick it up and put it in a box himself the pretence faded. 'It might bite me!' he said. My advice that this would only happen if his jugular vein was exposed didn't seem to help so I gave in and went over to sort it out.

I found the bat squeezed into a little gap along the edge of a roof light.  Often when bats get inside buildings they do so through a small gap and then struggle to find their way out again. If windows can be opened at dusk this often does the trick but in this case there were no windows so there was nothing for it but to catch the bat, check it out and release it at dusk.

After a bit of a struggle I managed to weedle it out of the crevice and here it is...

It is a pipistrelle and big enough to lie comfortably on the end joint of my thumb.

The photos show quite well one of the identification features commonly used in bats and that is the shape of the tragus - that small flap of cartilage just in front of the ear opening.  It is small and round ended in the pipistrelles and this distinguishes the Pipistrellus genus from the Myotis bats (whiskered, Daubenton's Brandt's Natterer's etc) in which the tragus is longer and more sharply tipped.

So this little bat had a trip home with me and I then drove back to work at dusk and released it outside the building where it was found.  At this time of year the bats are still present in their nursery roosts and it is important that this one was able to rejoin its colony.

All in a day's work.


  1. A great tale and super pics of the Pipistrelle, Linda

  2. Thanks Linda. The two pictures are of the same animal in spite of the colour difference. Just a trick of the light, I guess.