Noctule Bat

Nyctalus noctula

  1. Wildlife
  2. Mammals
  3. Noctule Bat


The Noctule is our largest bat. All British bats are nocturnal, feeding on midges, moths and other flying insects which they find in the dark by using echolocation. Noctules roost in holes in trees and can be seen feeding on insects over the tree canopy; they particularly enjoy feeding on flying beetles such as the large Cockchafer. Noctules hibernate over the winter, between November and April.

How to identify

Noctules have rich, golden-brown fur with darker wings, ears and face. Their flight is characteristically strong and fast.

Where to find it

Widespread across England and Wales.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October

How can people help

Noctules and other bats are declining as roost sites are lost to development and pesticide-use reduces their insect-prey. But you can help our bats in your own garden; why not try putting up a bat box? Pick a tree that gets some sun during the day, but is near to a hedge or other trees. All UK bats and their roosts are protected by law, which means it is illegal to harm or disturb them.

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Species information

Common name
Noctule Bat
Latin name
Nyctalus noctula
Length: up to 14cm Weight: 19-40g Wingspan: 40cm Average lifespan: 4-5 years
Conservation status
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.