Common pipistrelle in Taipei

Pipistrellus pipistrellus is rare and local in Taiwan, and a likely split (as part of the distinctive Chinese clade). I found two bats day-roosting in Taipei at 25.037046, 121.520348. Look for a small opening under the roof edge, or, better, for droppings underneath.


  • Manuel RUEDI

    Dear Vladimir,
    P. pipistrellus does not occur much east of Afghanistan (Indian records being dubious). There are a number of other species occuring in Taiwan (I was studying bats several times in that incredible island), including a yet undescribed species living in mountain forests and looking like P. javanicus. So without a good picture of the incisors and at least forearm measurement, ID is pure speculation there.
    Good luck

    • Vladimir Dinets

      I was sure it wasn’t P. abramus because the echolocation frequency was down to 30 kHz and the fur was too brown, but I didn’t have access to my copy of Bats of Taiwan at the time. There are currently two undescribed Pips in Taiwan, provisionally called P. montanus and P. taiwanus, the ones in Taipei are the latter judging by the frequency. They are supposed to be a forest species but the roost is at the edge of a large park.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Surprisingly, just-published Bats volume of Handbook of Mammals of the World still shows P. pipistrellus as occurring in E Asia and Taiwan, without even subspecific designation.

  • Manuel Ruedi

    Yes, the taxonomy of East Asian bats, in particular Vespertilionidae, is still horribly unstable for such difficult groups as Pipistrellus and Myotis. Just consider that the true P. pipistrellus (i.e. the ones from Europe) emit at 45 +- 5 kHz, so something down to 30 kHZ cannot be P.pipistrellus, but a larger species. My colleagues from Taiwan, Csorba, Görföl and myself are working precisely on the Pipistrelles of Taiwan, and yes, there is urgent need for clarifications! I didn’t check who was doing the Pipistrellus chapters for the MSW, but it must have been a nightmare… A good paper discussing the eastern border of the distribution of P. pipistrellus is Benda et al. Bats of Afghanistan.
    Morality (and like for many bat species for which we struggle in putting a correct name even after measuring, sequencing and analyzing their skull, and baculum): it has little sense to push the ID to feed personal checklists, until the group is really well-studied. And for Taiwan it is still far from settled, perhaps except for the Myotis…

  • Vladimir Dinets

    I only got the book yesterday and only had time to quickly look through, but it looks like they didn’t do a very good job updating info for Asian species. Tadarida latouchei is still listed as vagrant in Japan, even though a colony on Amami has been found 5 years ago AFAIK.

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