Image: Lesser Long-eared Bat Illustration
Lesser Long-eared Bats are small bats that roost in caves, roofs, hollow walls, tree hollows and under bark all over Australia, except north-eastern Queensland.
- Andrew Howells
- © Australian Museum
- Common name:
- Lesser Long-eared Bat
- Scientific name:
- Nyctophilus geoffroyi
Lesser Long-eared Bats are small bats that roost in caves, roofs, hollow walls, tree hollows and under bark all over Australia, except north-eastern Queensland. They are about 4 cm long with brown or grey fur on their back and a white belly. They have very large ears.
Lesser Long-eared Bats fly close to the ground in forests to hunt for insects during the night. They find insects by making small sounds through their mouths that humans cannot hear. The sounds bounce off objects and come back to the bat. The bats listen to the sounds that come back and are able to tell where things are. This is called echolocation. When they know where an insect is they hunt it down.
They catch and eat food as they fly. These bats also pick insects off the ground.
Females give birth to one or two live young in November or December each year. The young bats are born helpless and without hair. The young bats feed on milk from nipples located under their mother's armpits until they are six weeks old. Young bats stay at the roosting site while their mothers search for food at night. The young bats are able to fly and search for food themselves when they are six weeks old.
Lesser Long-eared Bats have very large ears that may help them locate prey items. Because these bats hunt low to the ground and are found in towns and cities, cats often catch them at night.