SCIENTIFIC NAME: Barbastella Gray, 1821
COMMON NAMES: Barbastelles
SYNONYMS: Synotus Keyserling, Blasius, 1839.
DIMENSIONS: Body mass 6-18 g, head & body 45-63 mm, tail 40-55 mm,
forearm 35-45 mm, wing span 26-34 cm.
DESCRIPTION: Belongs to the vespertilionid bat family, includes
at least four species. Muzzle of moderate length, median margins
of ears in contact, ears wide, constituting ca. one half of forearm
length. Tragus long lancet-like in shape. Nostrils open on the dorsal
side of snout. One pair of small premolars in each upper/lower jaw;
small upper premolar greatly reduced and indruded from the toothrow.
Two pairs of inscisors in upper jaw and three pairs in the lower
jaw. Fur dense and long, its colour on back varying from pale-greyish
to dark-brown. Underparts more lightly coloured. The diploid number
of chromosomes is 32.
DISTRIBUTION: Tropical, northern subtropical and southern temterate
areas of Eurasia from West Europe and the Mediterranean to South
China and Japan, Northern Africa.
NATURAL HISTORY: Barbastelles inhabit various landscapes from deserts
to broad-leafed forests, reaching the elevations of 2500 m. Roosts
in caves, hollow trees and humal buildings. These bats are aerial
foragers, pursuing flying insects, usually at low altitudes. Migrations
unknown, wintering bats hibernate nearby summer quarters, usually
in various underground shelters. Reproduction takes place in spring
and in the begining of summer; only one litter is delivered annually.
One or two young are born.
Two species occur in Russia and neighbouring countries:
European barbastelle B. barbastellus
Caspian barbastelle B. caspica