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Using DNA Testing for bat species identification

Bat species identification through DNA testing can complement traditional surveying methods and your ecological studies. DNA is revolutionising the way ecologists survey organisms and their habitats.

There are 18 species of bat in the UK, 17 of which are known to breed here. Our bat species DNA testing is able to identify all 17 species of bat currently breeding in the UK. All are European protected species. UK bat populations have declined drastically in the last century. Their breeding sites and resting places are fully protected by UK and European law. It is illegal to harm or disturb bats without seeking specialist advice.

bat species identification

Find out more about UK bats from the Bat Conservation Trust.

Bat species identification can contribute greatly towards conservation and population growth projects. For example, grey long-eared bats are considered very rare in the UK with brown long-eared bats relatively common. These two species are visually very similar making DNA analysis an ideal option for species identification.

How does it work?

The testing service is made possible by our state-of-the-art molecular analysis of the DNA found in guano (bat faeces). With our bat species identification service, we can accurately and cost-effectively identify any UK bat species from a single dropping.

First we extract the DNA present in the bat dropping sample and carry out multiple washing steps to remove impurities. 

Short fragments of a mitochondrial gene region (COI) are amplified with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using highly specific primers. After further cleaning steps, the DNA is then run through our state-of-the-art genetic analyser and matched against a database of known species, with the highest similarity being the correlating bat species.

UK Bat Species

Our bat DNA identification service identifies all 17 species of bat known to be breeding in Britain:

  • Alcathoe bat (Myotis alcathoe)
  • Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus)
  • Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii)
  • Brandt’s bat (Myotis brandtii)
  • Brown long-eared bat (Plecotus auritus)
  • Common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)
  • Daubenton’s bat (Myotis daubentonii)
  • Greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum)
  • Grey long-eared bat (Plecotus austriacus)
  • Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri)
  • Lesser horseshoe bat  (Rhinolophus hipposideros)
  • Nathusius’ pipistrelle  (Pipistrellus nathusii)
  • Natterer’s bat (Myotis nattereri)
  • Noctule (Nyctalus noctula)
  • Serotine (Eptesicus serotinus)
  • Soprano pipistrelle  (Pipistrellus pygmaeus)
  • Whiskered bat (Myotis mystacinus)

Why choose chXout®?

  • We are a trusted and reliable DNA testing services provider.
  • Quality assured DNA tests.
  • We are UK based only, so by contacting us you will be dealing with UK based customer service and laboratories. We will never send your samples to other laboratories or overseas. 
  • If we do not achieve a result the first time, we will repeat the experiment free of charge.

Bat Species Identification Pricing