Tadarida teniotis (Rafinesque, 1814)
European Free-tailed Bat (English), أبو برنيطة الكبير (Arabic), الخفاش الأوروبى حر الذيل (Arabic)
European free-tailed bat is a large strong bat. Fur on the upperparts of the body dense, soft, plush-like, long on neck, and paler on the underparts. Hairs extend onto wings and base of flight membrane. Ears large, rounded and broad. The inner sides of ear directed downwards, close to each other but tips disconnected. Wings very long, narrow, but not broad, vary in color from grayish-brown to black. Face distinctive with long, wrinkled muzzle. Upper lip with vertical fissures interspersed with short hairs. Tragus square with rounded angles and large antitragus. Feet strong, as long as half the tibia length. Tail long and extends beyond the flight membrane.
Status in Egypt
Nocturnal bat. Insectivorous, feeding on moths. Lives in colonies of around 50 individuals. Flying high and fast, more than 30 km. The European free-tailed bat uses echolocation (at a quasi- constant-frequency calls with an end-frequency 9 to14 kHz) by emitting ultrasound from nose-leaf to detect prey. The breeding season of the European free-tailed bat takes place in January and female gives birth to a single young each year in June after a gestation period of six to seven weeks and reaches sexual maturity after one year.
Body length 122–139 mm, forearm 54.7–69.9 mm, 5th digit 55-59 mm, 3rd digit 102-115 mm.
Ecology and Distribution
Distribution in Egypt
Narrow (Cairo and Sinai).
The European free-tailed bat prefers open habitats like grassland and rocky places, especially limestone. It roosts colonially in narrow gaps between rocks in winter where temperature is ca. 10°C and artificial structures such as bridges and old buildings.