European free-tailed bat is a large strong bat. Fur on the upperparts of the body dense, soft, plush-like, long on neck, and paler on the underparts. Hairs extend onto wings and base of flight membrane. Ears large, rounded and broad. The inner sides of ear directed downwards, close to each other but tips disconnected. Wings very long, narrow, but not broad, vary in color from grayish-brown to black. Face distinctive with long, wrinkled muzzle. Upper lip with vertical fissures interspersed with short hairs. Tragus square with rounded angles and large antitragus. Feet strong, as long as half the tibia length. Tail long and extends beyond the flight membrane.
Populations in Japan, Taiwan and Korea are now considered to be a separate species, T. insignis (Simmons 2005). It occurs from sea level to 3,100 m.
Distribution in Egypt
Narrow (Cairo and Sinai).
Body length 122–139 mm, forearm 54.7–69.9 mm, 5th digit 55-59 mm, 3rd digit 102-115 mm.
Habitat and Ecology
The European free-tailed bat prefers open habitats like grassland and rocky places, especially limestone. It roosts colonially in narrow gaps between rocks in winter where temperature is ca. 10°C and artificial structures such as bridges and old buildings.
Life History and Behavior
Nocturnal bat. Insectivorous, feeding on moths. Lives in colonies of around 50 individuals. Flying high and fast, more than 30 km. The European free-tailed bat uses echolocation (at a quasi- constant-frequency calls with an end-frequency 9 to14 kHz) by emitting ultrasound from nose-leaf to detect prey. The breeding season of the European free-tailed bat takes place in January and female gives birth to a single young each year in June after a gestation period of six to seven weeks and reaches sexual maturity after one year.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Tadarida teniotis
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tadarida teniotis
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 30
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
Status in Egypt
European free-tailed bat
The European free-tailed bat. (Tadarida teniotis, sometimes given as Tadarida insignis) is a species of free-tailed bat found in the Old World. Other common names include the bulldog bat and the mastiff bat because of the presence of wrinkling on the snout. This bat is found in the Mediterranean region of Europe and in scattered locations across Asia at altitudes from sea level to 3100 m. It was reported from Korea in 1931, but has not been sighted on the Korean Peninsula since that time. Populations in Japan, Taiwan and Korea are now considered to be a separate species Tadarida insignis.
The European free-tailed bat has large, broad ears, each with a very small tragus, a backward-pointing projection which helps direct sound into the ear. Its muzzle has wrinkled lips, which gives its face a similarity to a dog's face and is the origin for its common names of bulldog or mastiff bat. Its tail is fleshy and robust, and the rear third is not connected to any membranes. Its fur is short and even, the dorsal (upper) surface is greyish-black, with a brownish shine, while the ventral (under) surface is paler. Its ears, wing and tail membranes are black and it has an unpleasant smell. This bat's head and body length is about 3.5 inches (89 mm), its tail about 2 inches (51 mm) and its weight from 1 to 2 ounces (28 to 57 g).
The European free-tailed bat roosts by day in crevices in cliffs, in rocky gorges, under overhangs, in holes in tall buildings, under roof tiles or under stone bridges. It emerges at dusk and flies at a great height with a swift direct flight, not exhibiting the sudden twists and turns shown by many other bat species. It feeds on insects caught in flight and seldom needs to drink. When it does drink, it scoops up water from a pond or river while flying low over the surface. Before leaving the roost it makes a rattling sound and it often emits a characteristic "tsick-tsick" in flight, enabling it to be recognised by sound.
European free-tailed bats generally live solitary lives but small groups of females come together to breed. The gestation period is about eighty days and a single youngster is born in some dark, concealed location. The juvenile opens its eyes when about a week old, can fly by four weeks and is independent by seven weeks. It matures at a year old and the lifespan is about ten years.
The European free-tailed bat is included by the IUCN in its Red List of Threatened Species as being of "Least Concern". The threats it faces include the use of pesticides, deforestation, the loss of roosts in some buildings and possible injury from wind turbines, however it is felt that none of these is a particularly serious threat. The population trend is not known but it is a common species in suitable habitats and bats in general receive protection in a number of European Union member states.
- Aulagnier, S.; Paunovic, M.; Karataş, A.; Palmeirim, J.; Hutson, A. M.; Spitzenberger, F.; Juste, J.; Benda, P. (2008). "Tadarida teniotis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Simmons, N. B. (2005). "Order Chiroptera". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 451. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Konig, Claus (1973). Mammals. Collins & Co. pp. 74–75. ISBN 978-0-00-212080-7.