Soprano Pipistrelle

Last updated April 2018

Pipistrellus pygmaeus (Leach 1825)

Photo Bob Cornes

Soprano pipistsellles are small bats between 4 and 8 g in weight, with a body length of 33-48 mm They usually leave the roost about 20 minutes after sunset. In mid summer, they may appear before sunset.

Sopranos pipistrelles are more selective in their habitat choices than common pipistrelles. They are woodland bats who need to have a water body nearby.

Soprano pipistrelle roosts tend to be larger than common pipistrelle roost and can cause difficulties for house owners as they can have a characteristic smell, but there are usually ways of overcoming this.

Like the common pipistrelle, it is only rarely found in Bedfordshire Hibernation sites.

They get their name because the peak frequency of the echolocation call ( 55 kHz) is higher than that of the common pipistrelle (45 kHz) (All very well in theory but in reality both species vary their calls according to the environment in which they are flying)



Pipistrelles have a distinctive way of flying and are the bats you are most likely to see, They have a swooping, fluttering flight and often fly in circles following the same route over and over again,but you can’t separate the three species on the basis of flight pattern.

The Bat Group has been monitoring one such roost since 1999
In 2011, there was a peak number of well over 1500 bats in this roost. In 2005 we had a front seat view of a sparow hawk predating the bats. 2005-11-Sparrowhawk

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