Pipistrelles are Britain's most
widespread bats and can be found throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Their fur varies in colour from dark brown to reddish-brown and their faces can
be dark or quite pink (see further information below).
Pipistrelles hunt in a variety of habitats including wetlands, woods, farmland,
hedgerows and urban gardens. They are a common sight during the summer around
many houses and have a distinctive fast, jerky flight pattern. Pipistrelles feed
on small insects like midges and caddisflies and can eat around 3000 insects per
During the summer pipistrelles roost in modern houses (usually in the soffit,
behind tiles, under eaves boarding or in cavity walls rather than in the loft
space), trees and bat boxes. The females form maternity roosts
of several hundred individuals and give birth to a single baby. During the
winter pipistrelles hibernate in buildings and trees. It surprises many people
to learn that pipistrelle bats can live for many years: individuals of 16 years
old have been recorded.
In the 1990's it was discovered that
there are actually two species of pipistrelle bat: the 45KHz and the 55KHz (also
known as the common pipistrelle and the soprano pipistrelle). They echolocate at
different frequencies and have slight differences in terms of habitat and
appearance. The 45KHz has a brown face with dark skin around its eyes whereas
the 55KHz has pink skin around the eyes. The
55KHZ is also more commonly found around water and has quite a distinctive
There are over 1400 records of pipistrelle bats in Staffordshire spanning 1940 -
from across the county. Pipistrelle bats are featured in the Staffordshire
Biodiversity Action Plan which aims to protect their habitat and to boost numbers.