Common Pipistrelle - Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Alternative names

Pipistrelles are the smallest British bat. It was recently discovered that there are actually three species of Pipistrelle bat formerly grouped together as Pipistrellus pipistrellus. All three (Common, Soprano and Nathusius) are very similar but differences in the frequency of the echolocation calls and genetic differences distinguish them.

Similar Species

Most British bats are very hard to identify in flight. Even in the hand, the Pipistrelle species cannot be readily separated and sound evidence from their echo-location is needed.

Identification difficulty

Pipistrelles roost in trees and under external features of buildings, such as hanging tiles and soffits. They feed along woodland edges, in open woodland, suburban gardens, marshes and over water.

When to see it

Pipistrelles are active between March and November.

Life History

An individual can eat up to 3000 insects a night. Hibernation occurs in crevices in buildings and trees as well as in bat boxes.

UK Status

The Pipistrelle is the most widespread and abundant bat species in the UK. However it has undergone a 70% decline in numbers between 1978 and 1993.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map