Noctule bat in flight and showing its teeth

Noctule bat

Common noctules are one of the first British bats to emerge in the evening. They are one of the larger British bat species and come out sometimes before sunset, to feed on moths, beetles and other large flying insects, flying fast and high above the ground. From October to April, noctules hibernate in trees, bat boxes, buildings and rock fissures. They sometimes sit on top of each other to keep warm though, in particularly cold winters, up to half might freeze to death in inadequate hibernacula.

Scientific name: Nyctalus noctula

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


Map showing the distribution of the Noctule bat taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Noctule bat can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Noctule bat distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1