🦇 Tiny the Bat

Tiny, the Lesser-Long Eared Bat, visited the UNE Natural History Museum today. Tiny catches her food in the dark using echolocation, where she calls out, and then listens for the echoes of the sound as they bounce off objects. By listening to echoes, Tiny can work out where things are and then she flits very speedily to catch her prey. One of Tiny’s favourite food is moths.

Some moths produce an ultrasound call to warn bats who want to eat them that they won’t taste very nice. Moths, along with butterflies, belong to a group of insects called Lepidopterans. Their wings and bodies are covered by miniature overlapping scales. The word Lepidoptera is made up of two words: “lepido” meaning scale and “ptera” meaning wings.

Tiny has a challenge for you at home! After dark, sit outside under a light, and look around at the insects that are coming to the light. What insects can you see? Can you see any moths? What do they look like? Do you think Tiny would enjoy munching on the insects you see?