Lesser horseshoe bat Rhinolophus hipposideros

The lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) is similar to its sister species the greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum), as both of them have a conspicuous horseshoe-shaped nose. Lesser and greater horseshoe bats are relatively easy to distinguish from each other based on their body size.

habitat descriptionStructurally rich, warmth-favored habitats, with sufficiently large wooded areas, field copses, hedges, small watercourses, high herbaceous vegetation.
quarters Large roof spaces, preferably in historic buildings, but also narrower spaces and warm cellars (in southern Europe often also in caves). Males solitary in various cavities and crevices. Hibernates in underground sites like caves, tunnels, cellars, etc.
reproductionNursery colony sizes from a few to several hundred individuals. Swarms at hibernation sites in mid-August to September. Births in June.
size - Head-torso length: 37 - 45 mm
- Forearm length: 36.1 - 39.6 mm
- Wing span: 192 - 254 mm
weight 4-7 g.
color/furLight brown, grayish to yellow-grayish brown. Underside light, grayish white. Juveniles much grayer.
nose shape"Horseshoe" and lancet appear particularly large in proportion to body. Upper saddle process short and rounded, lower longer and pointedly extended.
ear shapeLarge, pointed, wrinkled ears typical of the horseshoe-nosed.
wing shapeBroad, short rounded.
flight Low-range and agile, hunting in vegetation structure or on guiding structures.
ultrasonic callsQuiet constant-frequency sounds (about 60 ms), detectable only a few meters away. Main frequency at 106-116 kHz, distinctive.
endangerment Population was massively collapsed in the last century due to DDT use, almost extinct in Germany. Population recovering since then.
Red list of Germany (2020): endangered.
IUCN (2006): Near Threatened.