21. April 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Mammals

The number of species of UK bats has increased by one thanks to the discovery of Alcathoe's Bat (Myotis alcathoe) in two different parts of the UK.

The discoveries have been made in Forestry Commission Woodland in Ryedale in Yorkshire as well as in the Sussex South Downs, leading experts to believe that more may be undiscovered elsewhere in the country.

Alcathoe's Bat is about the size of the end of a person's thumb and was originally discovered in Greece in 2001. It had been assumed that the UK being an island would prevent the bat from being seen over here, but it looks like this has been proven wrong. 

It is hoped that the bat is actually a resident species and that this has simply not been discovered here before due to the large number of similarities between it and other resident bats. Genetic analysis by a team from Leeds and Sheffield Universities has confirmed the species as identification based on appearance alone can be too difficult. The frequency of the distinct Alcathoe's Bat's echolocation call (43 – 46 kHz) can also aid identification without the need for genetic analysis to take place. 

Further details can be found in the press release from the two Universities involved: the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield

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  1. Wow! how very interesting.. It is great that a new member of the UK bat family has been discovered. Because of the fact that bat numbers are currently on the wane, the more, the merrier right now! let’s hope more are being discovered by the dozen.
    Great post, very informative. Thanks for posting.

  2. Yes, it’s great news. They’re not very big though and from research, the presence of them in the UK is very scarce. I hope that more are discovered as well. Bats are becoming extinct in this country and they don’t get as much publicity because of how they look and that they’re night creatures.
    I’ve yet to see any other bats in the wild apart from the Pipistrelle!

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