29 Dec 2015

Kuhl’s Pipistrelle – Dhahran main camp

Scott Jennings a friend of mine called one evening to say he had a bat and would I like to see it. I immediately drove around to Scott’s house and photographed the bat that turned out to be a Kuhl’s Pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhli. The bat was healthy but had bumped into a window, and after a short time it flew off and was not seen again. This bat has a wide distribution, occurring across North Africa, southern Europe, the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula, and into southwest Asia, as far east as Pakistan and India, and north to Kazakhstan. Kuhl’s pipistrelle is a small bat with a long tail, a well-developed interfemoral (tail) membrane, and a knife-shaped tragus in front of the ears. The fine, dense fur is light brown to reddish brown on the back, with the individual hairs having slaty black bases. The underparts are paler, often whitish, and the wing membranes are dark brown to black, with a characteristic white margin, particularly between the foot and the fifth finger of the hand. There is much regional variation in the colouration of this species. They are small with a length of up to 10 centimeters and a tail of up to 4.5 centimeters, wingspan of 21 – 22 centimeters and weigh between 4 - 10 grams. This species may roost in colonies numbering from around 30 to 100 individuals and, like other pipistrelle bats is typically one of the first bat species to emerge in the evening when it forages for small aerial insects with a slow but acrobatic flight. They have been recorded from elevations of up to 2,000 metres, and forage over a variety of habitats, from oases in deserts, to temperate grassland, to forest, although it is usually found near permanent water. The species may also be found in agricultural and urban areas, and often roosts in crevices in buildings, as well as in rock crevices and under loose bark. I would Like to thank Mansur Al Fahad for help in guiding me to the identification of the bat, a species Mansur says is common around his home in Zulfi, many hundreds of kilometres northwest of Dhahran.
Kuhl’s Pipistrelle

Kuhl’s Pipistrelle

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