Lesser horseshoe bats are rare in Britain
and in Staffordshire are only found in the southern tip of the county. They are
small bats with a distinctive noseleaf (a flap of horseshoe shaped skin around
the nostrils) and buff coloured fur.
Lesser horseshoes emerge about half an hour after sunset and are most active at
dawn and dusk. They fly around pastures, woods and wetlands and prey on a range
of large insects including moths, beetles, spiders, flies and wasps. Food is
often taken to a perch to be eaten rather than being consumed on the wing.
During the summer lesser horseshoe bats roost in the roofs of large houses and
stable blocks with females forming maternity roosts
of up to 70 individuals (although roosts of 300 individuals have been found)
with each giving
birth to a single young. In winter they hibernate in caves, tunnels, mines and
cellars in small numbers.
There are less than 10 records of lesser horseshoe bats in Staffordshire spanning
1986 - 1997 (with a historic record from 1903) and all but 2 of these records
are from Kinver in south Staffordshire.