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Encyclopedia > Greater Noctule bat
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Greater Noctule bat
Nyctalus lasiopterus showing its impressive teeth (taken from Popa-Lisseanu et al 2007).
Nyctalus lasiopterus showing its impressive teeth (taken from Popa-Lisseanu et al 2007).
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Vespertilionidae
Genus: Nyctalus
Species: N. lasiopterus
Binomial name
Nyctalus lasiopterus
(Schreber, 1780)

The Greater Noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus), or Greater Noctule, is a rare and little known mammal. Found in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa, it has the distinction of being the largest bat in Europe, with a wingspan of up to 46 centimetres. Studies suggest that these aerial-hawking bats feed on insects and passerine birds, which they are believed to catch and eat on the wing. In Spain at least, Greater Noctules hibernate from December to February. The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... Near Threatened (NT) is an conservation status assigned to species or lower taxa which may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future, although it does not currently qualify for the threatened status. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Animalia redirects here. ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses Allotheria* Order Multituberculata (extinct) Order Volaticotheria (extinct) Order Palaeoryctoides (extinct) Order Triconodonta (extinct) Prototheria Order Monotremata Theria Infraclass Marsupialia Infraclass Eutheria The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals characterized by the production of milk in females for the nourishment of young, from mammary glands present on most species... This article is about mammals. ... Evening bats or perhaps more correctly Vesper bats (family Vespertilionidae) are the largest and best-known family of bats. ... The bat genus Nyctalus (Noctule bats) are members of the family Vespertilionidae (Vesper bats) or sometimes Evening bats. ... In biology, binomial nomenclature is the formal method of naming species. ... Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739 - 1810) was a German naturalist. ... World map exhibiting the location of Europe. ... A map showing Southwest Asia - The term Middle East is more often used to refer to both Southwest Asia and some North African countries Southwest Asia, or West Asia, is the southwestern part of Asia. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent. ... Suborders Megachiroptera Microchiroptera See text for families. ... Orders See taxonomy Insects (Class Insecta) are a major group of arthropods and the most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species — more than all other animal groups combined [1]. Insects may be found in nearly all environments on the planet, although only a... Families Many, see text A passerine is a bird of the giant order Passeriformes. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ...

Predation on birds, especially catching them in the air rather than when roosting, is very rare among bats. In fact hunting birds on the wing has only been reported for the Greater Noctule, in studies in both Italy and Spain. The studies in Spain indicated that during the nocturnal migration of birds over the Mediterranean from March-May and August-November, as much of 70% of Greater Noctule droppings contained the remains of birds. Studies of stable isotopes in Greater Noctule blood corroborate this noturnal predation on migratory passerines hypothesis. The greater noctule is large, has echolocation calls and wings evolved for open-air hunting, and echolocation frequencies above the hearing range of birds, indicating that it is well adapted or exapted for hunting passerines in the air at night. This article is about non-human migration. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... See: Animal echolocation: animals emitting sound waves and listening to the echo in order to locate objects or navigate. ...


Dondini, G., Vergari, S. 2000 Carnivory in the greater noctule bat (Nyctalus lasiopterus) in Italy. Journal of Zoology 251: 233-236.

Ibáñez, C., Juste, J., García-Mudarra, J. L., Agirre-Mendi, P. T. 2001. Bat predation on nocturnally migrating birds. PNAS 98:9700-9702. full article. discussion.

Popa-Lisseanu, A. G., Delgado-Huertas, A., Forero, M. G., Rodriguez, A., Arlettaz, R. & Ibanez, C. 2007. Bats' conquest of a formidable foraging niche: the myriads of nocturnally migrating songbirds. PLoS ONE 2(2): e205. full article.

External links

  • BBC article: greater noctule predation on birds
  • Darren Naish's blog Tetrapod Zoology: greater noctule predation on birds



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