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Home / Bats in Nottinghamshire / Common and Soprano Pipistrelle

Pipistrellus pipistrellus and P. pygmaeus.
Head – Body 34-45mm. Wingspan 190-259mm. Weight 4-7gms

The common and soprano pipistrelle are the most widespread in Britain and are the most likely species you will come across. They are also the most likely bats to be using your home as a roost site. Both species roost in buildings but do not usually use the roof space. Instead they use the small gaps behind fascia boards or behind hanging tiles or weather boarding. Here females will gather in the early summer to give birth to their single young (twins are very rare). Once the young can fly, the roost will be abandoned but they may return the following year. We know very little about where pipistrelle bats go for the winter but occasionally they are discovered roosting in cavity walls.

It is only a few years ago that we thought that there was only one species of pipistrelle in Britain but it has now been discovered that what we thought was one species is in fact two. Discovered by using bat detectors, it was found that one species has a peak echolocation frequency of about 45 kHz (common pipistrelle) and the other at about 55 kHz (soprano). DNA tests confirmed that they were separate species.

Before we release injured bats back into the wild we have to make sure that they can fly well enough to hunt. This short video shows a common pipistrelle exploring the flight net.

The same bat as the video above. He passed his flight test and is now back in the wild.