We are lucky enough to have 18 species of bat in the UK, 17 of which are known to be breeding here - that's almost a quarter of our mammal species.

Every summer, thousands of people venture out to experience the wonder of bats in their natural environment. Sadly, bat populations have suffered severe declines during the past century, but the Bat Conservation Trust and more than 100 local bat groups are working hard to help our bats hang on. Learn more about where to see bats!

Resident bat species

Alcathoe bat

Alcathoe bat

The latest addition to the UK bat family, only being confirmed as a resident species in 2010 due to its similarity to the whiskered and Brandt's bat species.

Scientific name: Myotis alcathoe

Listen to an Alcathoe bat

Barbastelle

Barbastelle

A rare and distinctive bat with a pug-like face and large, wide ears.

Scientific name: Barbastella barbastellus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Barbastelle

Bechstein's bat

Bechstein's bat

One of our rarest bats, found in parts of southern England and south east Wales.

Scientific name: Myotis bechsteinii

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Bechstein's bat

Brandt's bat

Brandt's bat

Very similar to the whiskered bat, only being separated as distinct species in 1970.

Scientific name: Myotis brandtii

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Brandt's bat

Brown long-eared bat

Brown long-eared bat

This bat's huge ears provide exceptionally sensitive hearing - it can even hear a ladybird walking on a leaf!

Scientific name: Plecotus auritus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Brown long-eared bat

Common pipistrelle

Common pipistrelle

Pipistrelles are the commonest British bats, weighing around 5 grams (same as a 20p piece). A single pipistrelle can eat 3,000 tiny insects in just one night!

Scientific name: Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a common pipistrelle

Daubenton's bat

Daubenton's bat

Known as the 'water bat', Daubenton's bats fish insects from the water's surface with their large feet or tail.

Scientific name: Myotis daubentonii

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Daubenton's bat

Greater horseshoe bat

Greater horseshoe bat

Horseshoe bats possess a distinctive horseshoe-shaped noseleaf.

Scientific name: Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

Species Factsheet

Listen to a greater horseshoe bat

Grey long-eared bat

Grey long-eared bat

This bat is generally a little larger than the brown long-eared bat and has a dark face.

Scientific name: Plecotus austriacus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a grey long-eared bat

Leisler's bat

Leisler's bat

Also known as the 'hairy-armed bat', it's similar to the noctule but smaller with longer fur.

Scientific name: Nyctalus leisleri

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Leisler's bat

Lesser horseshoe bat

Lesser horseshoe bat

Able to wrap its wings completely around its body while at rest, differing from the greater horseshoe bat whose face can usually be seen.

Scientific name: Rhinolophus hipposideros

Species Factsheet

Listen to a lesser horseshoe bat

Nathusius' pipistrelle

Nathusius' pipistrelle

A previous migrant species, it has only been classed as a resident species since 1997.

Scientific name: Pipistrellus nathusii

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Nathusius' pipistrelle

Natterer's bat

Natterer's bat

Its broad wings enable it to fly slowly and prey on a wide variety of insects, even snatching spiders from their webs!

Scientific name: Myotis nattereri

Species Factsheet

Listen to a Natterer's bat

Noctule

Noctule

This bat has long narrow wings and flies in a straight line, very high and fast. It's our biggest bat, but it's still smaller than the palm of your hand!

Scientific name: Nyctalus noctula

Species Factsheet

Listen to a noctule

Serotine

Serotine

The Serotine has broad wings and a leisurely flapping flight.

Scientific name: Eptesicus serotinus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a serotine

Soprano pipistrelle

Soprano pipistrelle

Similar to common pipistrelle but distinguished by its higher frequency echolocation call.

Scientific name: Pipistrellus pygmaeus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a soprano pipistrelle

Whiskered bat

Whiskered bat

Slightly smaller than Brandt's bat but sharing the same shaggy fur.

Scientific name: Myotis mystacinus

Species Factsheet

Listen to a whiskered bat

Vagrant species and occasional visitors

Greater mouse-eared bat

Greater mouse-eared bat

RaritiesvagrantsThis bat was officially declared extinct in 1990, but a solitary individual has been hibernating in southern England since 2002.

Scientific name: Myotis myotis

Species Factsheet

There are a number of other non-resident bat species that occasionally make appearances on our shores having blown over from the continent, notably Kuhl's pipistrelle and parti-coloured bat. You can find out more about our vagarant species in the vagrant species factsheet.