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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Bat in Southern Morocco - Feb 2020 (1 Viewer)

Muppit17

Well-known member
Hi all

I got the attached spectogram using Echometer touch 2 this Feb in Erfoud in Southern Morocco.

I suspect it is one of the pipistrelles, it certainly looked like it, but is it possible to identify from the spectogram?

There is so little info about Moroccan bats that I can find, I am not sure how to distinguish Rueppell's/Savi's/Kuhl's from Common.

Many thanks
 

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Farnboro John

Well-known member
I'm about as non-expert as you can get but I had a look at my copy of Bats of Britain, Europe and North-west Africa and I think you can rule out Rueppell's Pip straight away, the call should not get as low in the Moroccan population as your sonogram shows if I understand frequencies at all.

Much less sure about the rest. Normally I find a bit of googling does throw up bat sonograms so you should be able to find ones for comparison.

John
 
Based on the spectrogram it looks good for Common Pipistrelle, with the minimum frequency dropping down to just above 40kHz. As John says, Ruepelll's Pipistrelle wouldn't drop so low, typically staying above 50 kHz. The minimum frequency for Savi's Pipistrelle would normally be lower than 40kHz, as would a typical Nathusius' call.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
Based on the spectrogram it looks good for Common Pipistrelle, with the minimum frequency dropping down to just above 40kHz. As John says, Ruepelll's Pipistrelle wouldn't drop so low, typically staying above 50 kHz. The minimum frequency for Savi's Pipistrelle would normally be lower than 40kHz, as would a typical Nathusius' call.

Thank you for your comments

I have Common Pip spectograms, and most (all) have a distinct 'hockey stick' at the low frequency. Is this relevant?

I am also surprised that Common would be in this Neo-Saharan habitat. Must understanding is that Kuhl's is the commonest locally but to say that the bat info on Southern Morocco is thin is an understatement.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
I'm about as non-expert as you can get but I had a look at my copy of Bats of Britain, Europe and North-west Africa and I think you can rule out Rueppell's Pip straight away, the call should not get as low in the Moroccan population as your sonogram shows if I understand frequencies at all.

Much less sure about the rest. Normally I find a bit of googling does throw up bat sonograms so you should be able to find ones for comparison.

John

John - thank you. Do you have any 'go to' websites for Spectograms? I am struggling with verified sources.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
John - thank you. Do you have any 'go to' websites for Spectograms? I am struggling with verified sources.

No, I tend to work it the other way and look for the species I want to check out and see what comes up. That way you tend to get stuff by people who are working on particular species and if you see two or three papers with similar results its a fair bet they know what they are on about.

John
 
I am also surprised that Common would be in this Neo-Saharan habitat. Must understanding is that Kuhl's is the commonest locally but to say that the bat info on Southern Morocco is thin is an understatement.

You are right; I hadn't checked the locality of your recording. It seems to be too far south for Common Pipistrelle.

In Europe, the end frequency of Kuhl's Pipistrelle tends to be in the 35-40 kHz range, and the calls on your spectrogram are above 40 kHz, so I ruled this species out.

However, in fact they occasionally have end frequencies that are around the 42 kHz, so in theory the bat calls on your spectrogram could be from Kuhl's. However, I did a bit more research for you, and I think I may have worked it out. I believe the species you have recorded may well be the desert form of Kuhl's Pipistrelle. This is sometimes treated as a separate species Desert Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus deserti) by some authors, but the validity of this is questionable. This bat not only shows some morphological adaptations for desert living, but also exhibits different echolocation frequencies, and typically has an end frequency of 44-47 kHz.

So in conclusion, I suspect your bat is indeed Kuhl's Pipistrelle, and most likely the interesting desert form Pipistrellus (kuhlii) deserti.
 

Muppit17

Well-known member
You are right; I hadn't checked the locality of your recording. It seems to be too far south for Common Pipistrelle.

In Europe, the end frequency of Kuhl's Pipistrelle tends to be in the 35-40 kHz range, and the calls on your spectrogram are above 40 kHz, so I ruled this species out.

However, in fact they occasionally have end frequencies that are around the 42 kHz, so in theory the bat calls on your spectrogram could be from Kuhl's. However, I did a bit more research for you, and I think I may have worked it out. I believe the species you have recorded may well be the desert form of Kuhl's Pipistrelle. This is sometimes treated as a separate species Desert Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus deserti) by some authors, but the validity of this is questionable. This bat not only shows some morphological adaptations for desert living, but also exhibits different echolocation frequencies, and typically has an end frequency of 44-47 kHz.

So in conclusion, I suspect your bat is indeed Kuhl's Pipistrelle, and most likely the interesting desert form Pipistrellus (kuhlii) deserti.

Thank you for such a detailed response. There certainly appears to be a lot to learn about this area.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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