Lesser horseshoe bat
Average lifespan: up to 30 years
When to seeApril to October
AboutFormerly a cave-dweller, the lesser horseshoe bat now tends to roost in old houses, churches, stables and barns. All UK bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects that they find in the dark by using echolocation. Lesser horseshoe bats feed amongst vegetation in lowland valleys, rarely flying more than five metres above the ground. They may take large prey back to a roost or perch. From May, mixed-sex maternity colonies are formed, and the females have a single pup. Lesser horseshoe bats hibernate over the winter in caves, disused mines, tunnels and cellars.
How to identifyOne of our smallest bats, the lesser horseshoe bat is the size of a plum. Like the greater horseshoe bat, it has a characteristically fleshy nose that is shaped like a horseshoe. Its fur is grey-brown on its back and white underneath.
In our area
Lesser horseshoe bats are most regularly spotted leaving summer roosts in disused farm buildings and barns, but they retreat to old mines and caves like those at The Stiperstones and at Llanymynech Rocks during the winter.
Visit the NBN website to see all Shropshire records of the species: https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0000080177#tab_mapView