Barbastelle bat

Barbastelle bat

Barbastelle bat © Ján Svetlík

Barbastelle bat

Scientific name: Barbastella barbastellus
The barbastelle is a scarce bat that lives in woodland and forages over a wide area. It has a distinctive 'pug-like' appearance because of its upturned nose.

Species information


Length: 4-5.5cm
Wingspan: 26-29cm
Weight: 6-13g
Average lifespan: up to 23 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

When to see

April to October


An elusive bat, the barbastelle lives in woodland and roosts in crevices in trees. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Barbastelles forage over a variety of habitats and are fast and agile fliers. They mate in autumn, hibernate over the winter (usually underground), and give birth to a single pup in summer.

How to identify

The barbastelle has long and silky fur that is blackish-brown in colour, but with white tips. It has rounded ears that meet on the forehead, and a short, upturned nose, giving it a pug-like appearance.


Found only in southern England and Wales. Very few breeding sites are known.

Did you know?

The scientific name Barbastella comes from the Latin for 'star beard' and is a reference to the white tips present on the barbastelle's fur.