Mediterranean horseshoe bat

Rhinolophus euryale

TAXONOMY

Rhinolophus euryale Blasius, 1853, Milan, Italy. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Rhinolophe euryale; German: Mittelmeerhufeisennase.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 1.5-2.3 in (3.7-5.8 cm); tail 0.9-1.3 in (2.2-3.3 cm); forearm 1.7-2 in (4.2-5.1 cm); wingspan 11.4-12.8 in (29-32.5 cm); weight 0.3-0.6 oz (8-18 g). Upper-parts gray-brown, tinged reddish or lilac; underparts gray-white to yellowish white; wings light gray; juveniles gray.

DISTRIBUTION

Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa; Balkan peninsula; east to Iran and Turkmenistan.

HABITAT

Well-wooded country close to water, with caves. BEHAVIOR

Colonial; hang free, often with bodies in contact, embracing each other with wing membranes and licking each other's faces and heads. Often roosts with other horseshoe bat species. Hi

bernates in caves and mine tunnels, temperature around 50°F (10°C). Has deep chirping, squeaking, or scolding calls. Usually sedentary.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Leaves roost at late dusk; hunts low over ground on warm hillsides and also in tree cover and scrub. Flight slow, fluttering; can hover. Eats moths and other insects; often uses feeding sites.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Poorly known. Nursery roosts may contain 50-100 females, with males also present. Young fly from mid-July; females also pregnant at the same time. Thought to be polygynous.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable. Has declined in northern parts of range, particularly in France and Czechoslovakia, partly due to disturbance in caves.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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