Myotis alcathoe 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Myotis alcathoe von Helversen & Heller, 2001
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Alcathoe Whiskered Bat, Alcathoe Myotis
French Murin d'Alcathoe
Spanish Murciélago Ratonero Bigotudo Pequeño
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included in Myotis mystacinus (Kuhl, 1817); the species was differentiated (von Helversen et al. 2001) on the base of karyological, genetic and echolocation characters.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-25
Assessor(s): Hutson, A.M. & Paunović, M.
Reviewer(s): Racey, P.A.
Contributor(s): Aulagnier, S., Nagy, Z., Karataş, A. & Palmeirim, J.
European regional and Global assessment: Data Deficient (DD)
EU 28 regional assessment: Data Deficient (DD)

The species was only recently described (2001) and is known from few localities. It is not easy to identify morphologically. More localities are being reported, but no information is available on size of range and population or population trend. Consequently it is assessed as Data Deficient. Based on present knowledge the species is endemic to Europe and 90% of known locations are inside the EU.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Alcathoe Myotis (Myotis alcathoe) was recently described and is poorly known (von Helversen et al. 2001), but current information suggests that it is endemic to central and southern Europe. It occurs in Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece (Ruedi et al. 2002, Benda et al. 2003, Agirre-Mendi et al. 2004, von Helversen 2004, von Helversen et al. 2006, P. Benda in litt. 2006). Recent records revealed this bat’s presence also in Austria, Poland, Belgium, Romania and the United Kingdom (Spitzenberger et al. 2008, Jan et al. 2010, Sachanowicz et al. 2012, Uhrin et al. 2014,  Nyssen et al. 2015).


Countries occurrence:
Bulgaria; Czech Republic; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia; Spain; Switzerland
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species’ population size and trend are unknown. To date, ca. 15 localities are recorded in international publications (von Helversen 2001, Benda et al. 2003, von Helversen 2004). However, new localities continue to be found (EMA Workshop 2006).


Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

According to present scarce knowledge, the Alcathoe Myotis is a tree dwelling and forest foraging species, feeding primarily on moths and nematoceran flies (Lučan et al. 2009, Danko et al. 2010). It seems to prefer old and full-grown oak forests (Lučan et al. 2009, Danko et al. 2010), but may also occur in rural gardens and urban habitats. It probably exploits underground habitats in winter. Summer colonies may number up to 80 individuals. The only known breeding colony was found in a tree hollow. 

Generation Length (years):5.8

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Damage to riparian forest is believed be a threat in parts of range (von Helversen et al. 2001). Wider forest and roost tree loss may also be threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is protected by national legislation in most range states. There are also international legal obligations for the species' protection through the Bonn Convention (Eurobats) and Bern Convention. It is included in Annex IV of the EU Habitats & Species Directive, and some habitat protection may be provided through Natura 2000. Conservation recommendations include further research on distribution, population status and trends, ecology, habitat requirements, and threats. Measures to increase public awareness of this little-known species are also recommended.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Agirre-Mendi, P.T., Garcia-Mudarra, J., Juste, J. and Ibañez, C. 2004. Presence of Myotis alcathoe Helversen & Heller, 2001 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in the Iberian Peninsula. Acta Chiropt. 6:49-57.

Benda, P., Ruedi, M. and Uhrin, M. 2003. First record of Myotis alcathoe (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Slovakia. Folia Zoologica, 52: 359-365.

Danko, Š., Krištín, A. and Krištofík, J. 2010. Myotis alcathoe in eastern Slovakia: occurrence, diet, ectoparasites and notes on its identification in the field. Vespertilio 13-14: 77-91.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Jan, C. M. I., Frith, K., Glover, A., M. Butlin, R. K., Scott, C. D., Greenaway, F. Ruedi, M., Frantz, A. C., Dawson, D. and Altringham, J. D. 2010. Myotis alcathoe confirmed in the UK from Mitochondrial and Microsatellite DNA. Acta Chiropterologica 12(2): 471-483.

Lučan, R. K., Andreas, M., Benda, P., Bartonička, T., Březinovà, T., Hoffmanovà, A., Hulovà., Š., Hulva, P., Neckàřovà, Reiter, A., Svačina, T., Šàlek, M. and Horàček, ,I. 2009. Alcathoe Bat (Myotis alcathoe) in the Czech Republic: distributional status, roosting and feeding ecology. Acta Chiropterologica 11(1): 61-69.

Nyssen, P., Smits, Q., Van de Sijpe, M., Vandendriessche, B., Halfmaerten, D., Dekeukeleire and D. 2015. First records of Myotis alcathoe von Helversen & Heller , 2001 in Belgium. Belgian Journal of Zoology 145: 131-137.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Ruedi, M., Jourde, P., Giosa, P., Barataud, M. and Roué, S. Y. 2002. DNA reveals the existence of Myotis alcathoe in France (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Rev. Suisse Zool., 109: 643-652.

Sachanowicz, K., Mleczek, T., Gottfried, T., Ignaczak, M., Piksa, K., and Piskorski, M. 2012. Winter records of Myotis alcathoe in southern Poland and comments on identification of the species during hibernation. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia-Series A: Vertebrata 55(1): 97-101.

Spitzenberger, F., Pavlinić, I. and Podnar, M. 2008. On the occurrence of Myotis alcathoe von Helversen and Heller, 2001 in Austria. Hystrix 19(1): 3-12.

Uhrin, M., Benda, P., Lučan, R., Miková, E., Rendoš, M. and Horáček, I. 2014. Noteworthy bat records from Romania. Vespertilio 17: 197-213.

von Helversen, O. 2004. Myotis alcathoe v. Helversen und Heller, 2001 - Nymphenfledermaus. Pp.: 1159-1167. In: Krapp F. (ed.): Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Band 4: Fledertiere. Teil II: Chiroptera II. Vespertilionidae 2, Molossidae, Nycteridae. Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim, 582 pp.

von Helversen, O., Heller, K.-G., Mayer, F., Nemeth, A., Volleth, M. and Gombkötö P. 2001. Cryptic mammalian species: a new species of whiskered bat (Myotis alcathoe n. sp.) in Europe. Naturwissenschaften 88: 217-223.

von Helversen, O., Mayer, F., Brinkmann, R., Niermann, I. 2006. Die Nymphe schwebt im heimischen Eichenwald.- Mediendienst Forschung-Aktuell, 781: 2 pp..

Citation: Hutson, A.M. & Paunović, M. 2016. Myotis alcathoe. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136680A518740. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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