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Egyptian Fruit Bat and another, Cyprus (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
We have these fruit bats coming to a date palm in our garden in Pissouri, we know what they are and we were surprised to find that this is the only place in Europe where a Fruit Bat species can be seen.

However, there is another fairly large bat, maybe 1/3 or even 1/4 the size of the Fruit Bats which appears to be using the same tree. This is clearly on of the larger Bats of Cyprus but they should all be insectivores, any suggestions anyone, as to what the species is and why it may be hanging around a date palm? There are precious fe insects around right now although my echo location isn't what it once was.

By process of elimination based on size, it can probably only be either Common bent-wing bat Miniopterus schreibersii, Greater Mouse-eared Bat Myotis myotis or Grey Long-eared Bat Plecotus austriacus.

All help and any suggestion will be very welcome.
 

peter.jones

Well-known member
Ajman
It's never easy as the majority of the field guides and literature focus on bat detectors, or identifying in hand.
Which is a pity because many species can be narrowed down by size and flight/feeding behaviour.

Greater mouse eared is big, and although I've only seen them roosting, am sure the white underparts would be obvious, especially if you shone a torch in their direction. So that may help.

Bent winged, I've only seen flying almost hirundine like around streetlamps, which is typical behaviour. Not sure that helps here.

Grey long eared, you'd probably see the ears at some point.

Maybe also one of the Horseshoe bats as another option if nothing else is fitting. Not sure how you'd identify these without a bat detector though. Or if any are in range of you.
( Incidentally it's worth buying/borrowing a bat detector just to hear a horseshoe bat thru it)

Some species hunt very close to the foliage, taking insects off the leaves etc so may be getting food even if there appears to be nothing in the air
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
It's never easy as the majority of the field guides and literature focus on bat detectors, or identifying in hand.
Which is a pity because many species can be narrowed down by size and flight/feeding behaviour.

Greater mouse eared is big, and although I've only seen them roosting, am sure the white underparts would be obvious, especially if you shone a torch in their direction. So that may help.

Bent winged, I've only seen flying almost hirundine like around streetlamps, which is typical behaviour. Not sure that helps here.

Grey long eared, you'd probably see the ears at some point.

Maybe also one of the Horseshoe bats as another option if nothing else is fitting. Not sure how you'd identify these without a bat detector though. Or if any are in range of you.
( Incidentally it's worth buying/borrowing a bat detector just to hear a horseshoe bat thru it)

Some species hunt very close to the foliage, taking insects off the
Thanks for this Peter, the habitat here is very open ans hilly, mainly olives, grapes, citrus and open fields and I'm sure that some of the attached can probably be eliminated on this alone? The Fruit Bats are extremely shy and take flight as soon as we go outside so we have to peer out of the bathroom window to watch them flying around and they always, land on the dark side of the tree. There is also zero, dropped, partially eaten fruit which I'd expect and what I think may be happening, is that the bats are actually plucking the dates to take and eat somewhere else?

This is the full list of Bats from Cyprus.

Family: Pteropodidae (flying foxes, Old World fruit bats)
 

peter.jones

Well-known member
Ajman
Regarding habitat. I don't know I'm afraid, or would be guessing with limited UK knowledge that might not be valid in Mediterranean. (Eg Gtr horseshoe in UK is associated with feeding around cow pastures on South facing hills, but could be entirely different in Cyprus).

The other factor, that is better documented, is where they roost, buildings, caves or trees. Again this is interesting, but doesn't help as they could fly a few miles from roost to feeding, and trying to determine where they come from in the evening is extremely difficult.

The island has a strange mix of species for sure. More Horseshoe species than Myotis species, nothing from the Noctule group, common Pip but not Kuhls or Savis, Fruit bat! In fact, I'd question that list as being complete and accurate.
Bats of Britain, Europe, and North Africa has Savi's, Kuhls, and Soprano pip present, but not common Pip for example.

Get a bat detector, and go on night shifts would be my advice!
 
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Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Regarding habitat. I don't know I'm afraid, or would be guessing with limited UK knowledge that might not be valid in Mediterranean. (Eg Gtr horseshoe in UK is associated with feeding around cow pastures on South facing hills, but could be entirely different in Cyprus).

The other factor, that is better documented, is where they roost, buildings, caves or trees. Again this is interesting, but doesn't help as they could fly a few miles from roost to feeding, and trying to determine where they come from in the evening is extremely difficult.

The island has a strange mix of species for sure. More Horseshoe species than Myotis species, nothing from the Noctule group, common Pip but not Kuhls or Savis, Fruit bat! In fact, I'd question that list as being complete and accurate.
Bats of Britain, Europe, and North Africa has Savi's, Kuhls, and Soprano pip present, but not common Pip for example.

Get a bat detector, and go on night shifts would be my advice!
There are very few trees here which I'd call suitable for bats, spindly things with no cracks or hollows and palm trees but there are caves. The big flock of Jackdaws we have here, roost every night in fairly small, Olive trees.
 
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opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
If you don't accept that you live in Asia, you will never stop having these "only place in Europe" moments :) Is Fuerteventura the only site in Europe with Houbara Bustard?
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Surely Cyprus is part of England??


(Runs and hides ;-) )
Limassol is Russian now, 40,000 of them.

My Dad was here in the 50's when the terrorist organisation 'EOKA' were fighting to end British rule. My Dad was based in Famagusta with the navy, a City which is now or at least was when I was last here in the 80's, a deserted, buffer zone between the invaders from Turkey. I remember watching the Turkish paratroopers descending, it was all over the BBC in 1974.
 

dantheman

Bah humbug
I was probably thinking of Malta too lol.

Been to Turkey a few times, but never Cyprus. Had hoped to get the Warbler in Israel, and the Cyprus Pied Wheatear ... think I just missed out on that in Isreal too.


(WP imo as opposed to Europe)
 

Hotspur

James Spencer
United Kingdom
There are very few trees here which I'd call suitable for bats, spindly things with no cracks or hollows and palm trees but there are caves. The big flock of Jackdaws we have here, roost every night in fairly small, Olive trees.
Ive seen bats roost between the scales of palm trunks in Spain.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Is European Free-tailed Bat a possibility? The range map in Wikipedia (yes I know) shows it as present on Cyprus. However Greater Horseshoe Bats often hunt from perches so that might explain the use of the trees, they are fairly large as well.

If you can spotlight them and use bins you should be able to get close to an ID, photos would help.

John
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Is European Free-tailed Bat a possibility? The range map in Wikipedia (yes I know) shows it as present on Cyprus. However Greater Horseshoe Bats often hunt from perches so that might explain the use of the trees, they are fairly large as well.

If you can spotlight them and use bins you should be able to get close to an ID, photos would help.

John
Not a chance John, extremely wary, as soon as they see us they're off, both species and I've only seen the smaller one in flight. Most often, the first thing we notice when the Fruit Bats turn up, is the whoosh of their wingbeats,. If they perch, it's always on the side of the tree which isn't lit by our fence lights and as I said, I have a feeling that they actually pluck, individual dates and fly off with them.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
European Free-tailed is very easy to ID by echolocation call, because the frequency is extremely low. It can be recorded even without an ultrasound microphone and if you have any young people available, they can just listen for it to prove/disprove its presence.
 
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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