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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Cave Nectar Bat
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2
 

Fig 3


Fig 4
 


Fig 5
  

Fig 6
  

Fig 7
  


Fig 8


Fig 9


Fig 10

 

 


 

Order : CHIROPTERA
Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Eonycteris spelaea

Forearm Length : up to 7.0 cm
Weight : up to 60 grams

Cave Nectar Bats roost in large, noisy colonies of hundreds or thousands.  Travelling many kilometres each night in search of the nectar of flowering trees and shrubs, this species is an important pollinator of fruit trees such as durian, the 'king of fruits'.

The dorsal fur is grey-brown and the ventral medium grey.  Around the neck the fur can be tinged yellowish-brown. The muzzle is dog-like in shape, and its tongue is long and probing.

The species ranges from northern India to southern China, and throughout Southeast Asia to Sumatra, Java and Borneo.  In Singapore the species seems to have adapted well to leafy, semi-urban habitats.


Figs 1 and 2 : Feeding on nectar from the distinctive flowers of Petai (Parkia speciosa), Singapore.

Figs 3 and 4 : Feeding on the nectar and/or pollen of flowers of the Sea Apple tree (Syzygium grande) at Tanjong Jara, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia.

Figs 5 to 7 : Attracted to nectar-rich flowers of banana plants in Singapore.

Fig 8 : This roost in Singapore has around 500 bats.

Figs 9 and 10 : A lone Cave Nectar Bat is attracted to the flowers of Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) in Singapore: this tree is a native of Australia but is sometimes planted as an ornamental, roadside tree in other countries.


References : M1, M2