Alcathoe Whiskered Bat, Alcathoe Myotis
IUCN: DD; Be (II); Bo (EUROBATS); EUHD (IV)
Value of species
Formerly included in Myotis mystacinus (Kuhl, 1817); the species was differentiated (von Helversen et al. 2001) on the base of karyological, genetic and echolocation characters.
The Alcathoe Myotis (Myotis alcathoe) was recently described and is poorly known (von Helversen et al. 2001), but current information suggests that it is endemic to central and southern Europe. It occurs in Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece (Ruedi et al. 2002, Benda et al. 2003, Agirre-Mendi et al. 2004, von Helversen 2004, von Helversen et al. 2006, P. Benda in litt. 2006). Recent records revealed this bat’s presence also in Austria, Poland, Belgium, Romania and the United Kingdom (Spitzenberger et al. 2008, Jan et al. 2010, Sachanowicz et al. 2012, Uhrin et al. 2014, Nyssen et al. 2015).
This species’ population size and trend are unknown. To date, ca. 15 localities are recorded in international publications (von Helversen 2001, Benda et al. 2003, von Helversen 2004). However, new localities continue to be found (EMA Workshop 2006).
According to present scarce knowledge, the Alcathoe Myotis is a tree dwelling and forest foraging species, feeding primarily on moths and nematoceran flies (Lučan et al. 2009, Danko et al. 2010). It seems to prefer old and full-grown oak forests (Lučan et al. 2009, Danko et al. 2010), but may also occur in rural gardens and urban habitats. It probably exploits underground habitats in winter. Summer colonies may number up to 80 individuals. The only known breeding colony was found in a tree hollow.