Latin name: Pippistrellus pippistrellus
weight: 3.5 to 8 grams
wingspan: 18 to 24 cm
The common pipistrelle is a small bat with relatively long, narrow wings.
The ‘sound’ the common pipistrelle makes during its hunting flight depends on the environment they are in: in a closed environment, they give off short FM-qcf pulses, the peak frequency of which is between 45 kHz and 50 kHz in the qcf range. In open terrain, longer FM-qcf pulses are used, with a peak frequency in the qcf range between 42 and 45 kHz.
In the Netherlands, maternity colonies of the common pipistrelle are mainly found in buildings. The size of such a colony can vary from a few dozen to more than 200 animals. In autumn, the males can easily be traced in their courtship flights. The mating habitats of the common pipistrelle are mainly in buildings, but are often difficult to detect.
Sometimes, common pipistrelles hibernate alone, but they also hibernate in groups. They
do this in all kinds of places within buildings: in cavity walls, under tiles, and behind panelling and roof edges. Because of the relatively mild winters in the Netherlands, common pipistrelles are not regular hibernators. When temperatures are high, they will leave their hiding places to go hunting.
The common pipistrelle prefers to hunt along water features and sheltered banks. They are relatively fast and manoeuvrable hunters that fly erratically, with many bends and loops, at some distance (1 to 8 m) from the vegetation. They fly at an average altitude of 2 to 5 m.
Common pipistrelles catch a wide range of often smaller prey from the air and take whatever is available. They mainly eat mosquitoes, non-biting midges, and caddisflies, but also mayflies, lacewings, moths, and, occasionally, beetles.