Background

The Lesser Horseshoe Bat is one of the smallest bats, having an average maximum weight of only 9 grams. They are also a very rare and elusive species that avoid human contact as much as possible.

Habitat

These animals prefer very secluded areas with little human disturbance, and their distribution is now isolated to Wales, western England and Ireland.

Diet

Like a number of British bats, the main source of food for these animals are insects, such as moths, flies and beetles. This species is also known to feed on spiders.

Predators & Threats

Lesser horseshoe bats are extremely susceptible to disturbance, which has become one of the main threats to population levels. Intensive agriculture and increased human activity within their habitats has seen a reduction in the areas in which they are found. Cats and sparrowhawks are the main predators of this species of bat.

Facts

  • At present, there are only 27,000 individuals across Britain, including the Irish population.
  • Unlike other bats, the lesser horseshoe bat can wiggle their ears in order to determine the location of their prey.
Common Name(s)Scientific Name
Lesser Horseshoe BatRhinolophus hipposideros
Size
 Length: 3.5-4.5 cm. Wingspan: 20-25 cm
Lifespan
Average of 5 years

Best Time to Look

May – October

Where to find Lesser Horseshoe Bat