The Daubenton’s bat is found on a geographical cline from Western Europe, including the British Isles, across Central Europe and Asia, and as far east as Japan. The species is insectivorous and uses echolocation to detect and catch prey, with the distinct behaviour of hunting over water bodies such as lakes and rivers. The other distinctive feature of Daubenton’s bats is that they appear to be the principal species of bat that harbours European bat lyssavirus type-2 (EBLV-2). The lyssaviruses, a group of viruses that includes the rabies lyssavirus, are generally associated with bats. Many are zoonotic with EBLV-2 being responsible for two human deaths. Reports of EBLV-2 in Daubenton’s bats have been made from countries across Europe although the majority have been from England. This chapter will consider the biology of the Daubenton’s bat, the association of EBLV-2 with this particular species and discuss the interaction between bat and virus.
Part of the book: Bats