Rüppel's pipistrelle (Pipistrellus rueppellii)

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Rüppel's pipistrelle fact file

Rüppel's pipistrelle description

GenusPipistrellus (1)

Rüppel’s pipistrelle is one of the few bats in the genus Pipistrellus that is easy to identify, due to its distinctive pure white underparts (3). Rüppel’s pipistrelle has greyish-brown to sandy coloured fur on the back (2) (4), and blackish limbs which contrast with the pale grey wing membranes (5). The relatively long ears are dark brown, with a long, knife-shaped tragus (a fleshy projection that covers the entrance to the ear) (3).

Total length: 10 cm (2) (3)
Tail length: 3.8 cm (3)
Forearm length: 3.4 cm (3)
7 g (2) (3)

Rüppel's pipistrelle biology

Thought to roost under rocks, in crevices (4) (6), and in buildings (5), Rüppel’s pipistrelle usually emerges from its roost at dusk to hunt for flying insects. A slow but acrobatic flier (3), Rüppel’s pipistrelle probably hunts close to the ground (4), using echolocation to detect potential prey (6).

Not much is known about the biology of Rüppel’s pipistrelle; however, other species within the Pipistrellus genus are known to roost in colonies numbering from around 30 to 100 individuals (1). Pipistrellus bats typically mate in the summer months, when females may form maternity roosts (7) (8), and give birth to two young after a gestation period of around 50 days (9).


Rüppel's pipistrelle range

Rüppel’s pipistrelle is not a very common or widespread species, and has a discontinuous distribution in Africa (5). The largest continuous part of its range stretches from northern Sudan south to northern Zimbabwe. In West Africa, it has been recorded from the Senegal coast and the Senegal / Mauritania border, and in North Africa it can be found in eastern Morocco, western Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt (1).


Rüppel's pipistrelle habitat

Rüppel’s pipistrelle occurs in semi-desert and desert habitats (1), where it is said to favour forest close to rivers (2) (3).


Rüppel's pipistrelle status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Rüppel's pipistrelle threats

Currently, the main threat to Rüppel’s pipistrelle is the use of pesticides that are used to control locusts (1). However, as a widespread species, it is not considered to be threatened with extinction at present (1).


Rüppel's pipistrelle conservation

There are no known specific measures in place for the conservation of Rüppel’s pipistrelle (1). An investigation into the impacts of pesticide use on this species, and how this threat may be reduced, has been recommended (1).


Find out more

To learn more about bat conservation see:



Checked (24/08/10) by Dr Francis Gilbert, Associate Professor, University of Nottingham.

This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.


Detecting objects by reflected sound. Used by bats and odontocete cetaceans (toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises) for orientation and to detect and locate prey.
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.


  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2010)
  2. Mills, M.G.L. and Hes, L. (1997) The Complete Book of Southern African Mammals. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  3. Stuart, C. and Stuart, T. (2001) Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  4. Qumsiyeh, M.B. (1996) Mammals of the Holy Land. Texas Tech University Press, Texas.
  5. Hoath, R. (2003) A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt. American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. 
  6. Riskin, D.K. (2001) Pipistrellus bodenheimeri. Mammalian Species, 657: 1-3.
  7. Schober, W. and Grimmberger, E. (1987) A Guide to Bats of Britain and Europe. Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, London.
  8. Bat Conservation Trust (March, 2010)
  9. Nowak, R.M. (1994) Walker’s Bats of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

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