Pteropus rodricensis

• Range: Rodrigues Island off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

• Habitat: Tropical rain forests where there is an abundance and variety of juicy fruits.

• Conservation status: Critically endangered.

Rodrigues Fruit Bat

  • • Megabats or fruit bats. (Colorado has only microbats). Sometimes called flying foxes because of their long fox-like muzzles and pointed ears!
    • Medium sized fruit bats with a wingspan of 2 ½ feet and weight of ¾ lb. Some fruit bats have a wingspan of over 5 feet.
    • Live in colonies.
    • The color of their fur varies from black to silver, yellow, orange, and red.
    • Wings are actually thin skin stretched between the fingers and thumb.
    • The claw on the thumb and second finger enables them to climb around their roost trees, hold and manipulate food and deter rival bats.
    • As the sun sinks, a few bats will fly from the roost tree, soon followed by others. They make a beeline for fruit trees, take pieces of fruit into their mouths, and obtain the juice by, squeezing it out, then spitting out the pulp. They prefer aromatic ripe fruits, wild figs, guavas, bananas, breadfruits, mangoes, papayas and the flowers and leaves of many local and introduced plant species.
    • Rodrigues fruit bats are not echolocaters but use their eyesight for travel and for searching for food.
    • After eating for several hours at the feeding site, the colony returns to the roosting site often swooping down for a drink of seawater along the way. The seawater contains needed minerals.
    • Play an important role in pollination and seed dispersal.
    • Sexual maturity is reached from 18 to 23 months.
    • Gestation lasts about 150 days after which a single pup is born. At birth, the precocial newborn weighs 1-1.5 ounces and has well-developed claws to help it cling to its mothers abdomen. Pups are remain in a close relationship with their mother for the first year
    • Exhibit a harem type of mating system. Dominant males maintain their territories around feeding and roosting sites but females have been observed mating with both territorial and non-territorial males.
    • Male fruit bats mark their territories by rubbing strong musky scent from neck glands onto branches

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