Indian flying fox

Pteropus giganteus

SUBFAMILY

Pteropodinae

TAXONOMY

Pteropus giganteus (Brunnich, 1782), Bengal, India.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Giant Indian fruit bat.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 8-12 in (20-30 cm), forearm 6-7 in (15-18 cm), wingspan 4 ft (1.2 m), weight 3.3 lb (1.5 kg).

DISTRIBUTION

Pakistan, Nepal, India, and the Maldives through to Myanmar. A single specimen was recorded in Tsinghai, China.

HABITAT

The preferred habitat is well established trees and swamp areas near large bodies of water. Some of the tree species favored for roosting sites are semal (Bombax malabaricus), peepal (Ficus ben-galensis), and mango.

BEHAVIOR

A colonial species that lives in large diurnal roosts. These bats form a hierarchy within the male population, defined by strength and size. Within the hierarchy, each male has a rank and his own roosting spot. Roosting takes place out in open. Colony size varies seasonally, shrinking in number during the summer and increasing during the rainy season. Colonies of these species tend to favor roosting areas near towns or villages.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

These bats will leave the roosting site soon after sunset and return about 45 minutes after sunrise. They may break into small feeding groups after leaving and when entering a feeding area. Before feeding they will visit a lake or river to drink and they skim it while they are flying.

Diet includes fruits, flowers, and leaves during the non-fruiting season. Examples are flower buds from the silk cotton tree (Gossampinus malabarocus), tulip tree (Spathodea campunulata), guava, and the soft leaves and twigs of the tamarind trees.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygynous. Mating takes place from July to October. Within that span, copulation will take place three times. Gestation is 140-150 days. When they are ready to give birth, females will congregate in the upper branches of the roosts. The pup is able to fly by the eleventh week and is weaned within two to six months.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

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

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment