Black flying fox

Pteropus alecto

SUBFAMILY

Pteropodinae

TAXONOMY

Pteropus alecto Temminck, 1837, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Pygmy fruit bat, gray fruit bat.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length (19-28 cm), forearm 6-7.5 in (15-19 cm), wingspan up to 3.3 ft (1 m) weight 1.1-2.2 lb (500-1,000 g). The fur on the head is black, the mantle ranges from chocolate brown to reddish brown, and white hairs frequently appear over the body, including the underside.

DISTRIBUTION

Sulawesi, Salayer Island, Baweam and Kangean islands to the Java Sea, Lombok, Sumba and Savu islands, southern New Guinea, northern and eastern Australia.

HABITAT

Found in tropical and subtropical forest and woodlands. BEHAVIOR

Males will establish territory and will groom themselves on a daily basis. Groups will return to the same site to roost year after year. On occasion, they will share their roosts with gray-headed flying foxes (P. poliocephalus).

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These groups will travel up 30 mi (50 km) to forage. Nectar, fruit, and tree blossoms are the principal diet. They do not eat citrus fruits.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygynous. Camps congregate from early to late summer. Birthing season is October to November in southern Queensland and January to February in the Northern Territory. This difference relates to the availability of food resources. The young are carried by the mothers until approximately fours weeks and then are left at the roost site. Juvenile or immature bats do not leave but remain together and form winter camps.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for food. Performs valuable pollination and seed dispersal of plants. ♦

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Responses

  • Amanuel
    Can the black flying fox eat citrus fruits?
    8 years ago

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