and Brandt's bats (Myotis mystacinus and
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bat, Bincliffe Mines in the Staffordshire
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Whiskered and brandt's bats are very
similar and were only recognised as separate species in 1970. The main
differences lie in the teeth and the tragus (a flap of skin in the ear). Neither
is particularly common but both can be found in England and Wales and the
whiskered can be found in Ireland. Both species have brown, shaggy fur on their
back and off-white fur on their stomachs.
Brandt's bats hunt in woodland and along hedgerows whilst whiskereds also
frequent these habitats but also visit parks and gardens. As the species have
only recently been recognised as different the distinctions in habitat
preferences are not yet clear. Both feed on aerial insects like moths.
During the summer both species roost in buildings (old and modern) and possibly
in trees. The females form maternity roosts, which can include other species
like pipistrelles, of 20 -60 individuals and give birth to a single baby. During the
winter they hibernate in underground sites like caves, cellars and tunnels.
There are over 60 records of whiskered and brandt's bats in Staffordshire spanning
1888 - 1998 from locations across the county.