and body length is about 35-110 mm, tail length is
15-56 mm, and weights range from 16.5 to 28 grams.
Color varies widely from reddish brown to deep black
above and paler below. Horseshoe bats get their name
from the leaflike structure of skin around the nose
which forms a horseshoe around the mouth. When flying,
they keep their mouths closed while emitting ultrasonic
sound through the nostrils.
Rhinolophus ferrumequinum hibernates during
which body temperatures have been recorded at 8°C,
in contrast to 40°C during normal activity. Mating
occurs during the fall, but ovulation and fertilization
are delayed until spring. Gestation takes about 7
weeks and a single young is produced in late spring.
Females have two functioning mammae and two "dummy
teats" which the infant may clasp while being transported
by its mother. Sexual maturity occurs by 2 years of
age. When roosting, this species wraps itself with
its wings. The broad wings have rounded ends and the
flight pattern resembling that of a butterfly.
and spiders are the main food source. A large insect
may be tucked into the wing membrane under the arm
while the bat manipulates it with its mouth.
is declining rapidly due to habitat pressures including
disturbance, vandalism and practices resulting in
a loss of large prey insects. The distribution of
R. ferrumequinum is Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia;
S Europe from Portugal to Greece and north to S England,
the Netherlands, S Germany, Austria, Czech Republic,
Slovakia, and Bulgaria; Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, and
Azerbaijan; Urkrain, Crimea, and Caucacus regions;
the Mediterranean coast from Turkey to Israel and
Jordan; NE Iraq, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, S
Kazakhstan, Afganistan, Pakistan, N India, Nepal,
Sikkim, China, Korea, and Japan; adjacent small islands.
Records at some localities in northern Europe (e.g.
the Netherlands) apparently reflect temporary northern