Bats are mammals capable of active flight, thanks to their wings formed by a membrane of skin between the body, legs and feet.

European bat species are generalist predators of insects. They are valuable auxiliaries because an individual is able to eat between 1,500 and 3,000 insects in a single night. Their role in orchards has been known for some time, with an effect on the natural regulation of populations of carpocapses and apple moths in temperate regions, as well as in field crops on the European corn borer, but also on the pine processionary caterpillar. in forest. However, not all bat species have the same food bolus and do not attack the same insects.

It was recently shown that in the Bordeaux and Burgundy vineyards, these small mammals played a role in the biological control of grapevine ( moths eudemi , moth , cochylis ). These predators also consume Diptera and their role in the regulation of Drosophila suzukii may also be of interest.

The majority of adult grapevine insect pests have nocturnal flight activity like the hunting mode of European bats. The consumption of butterfly pests of the vine has been studied by analyzing the DNA of bat faeces using molecular biology techniques. Two species consume eudemis : the common pipistrelle and the lesser horseshoe bat.

The main species of bats encountered in the vineyard in France are:

  • common pipistrelle ( Pipistrellus pipistrellus )
  • Kuhl's pipistrelle ( P. kuhlii )
  • the pygmy pipistrelle ( P. pygmaeus )
  • l oreillard gris ( Pleootus austriacus )
  • le petit rhinolophe ( Rhinolophus hipposideros )
  • le vespertilion de Natterer ( Myotis nattererii )
  • large and small murines ( Myotis myotis and M. blythii )
  • the minioptère de Schreibers ( Miniopterus schreibersii )
  • Leisler's noctule ( Nyctalus leislerii )
  • common serotin ( Eptesicus serotinus )

Due to their nocturnal activity, these mammals must find a diurnal roost. Likewise, since the insects are not active in winter, bats must either migrate, change their diet, or go into lethargy and must then find temperate roosts, often underground, or shelters (attics, hollow trees, caves). . After mating in autumn, females give birth between mid-May and early July.

Bats can navigate at night thanks to echolocation, that is to say by emitting ultrasound, the reflection of which they capture, allowing them to locate their prey as well as obstacles.



Papura D, Charbonnier Y, Rusch A, Inzirillo P, Sentenac G (2018) Fruit moth predatory bats: confirmed. Phytoma, 713, 46-51

BATVITI project - Bats predation activity in the vineyard (see the presentation during the 5th edition of the Rencontres Viticoles d'Aquitaine )

Last change : 04/19/21
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