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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Horsfield's Fruit Bat

Fig 1
Fig 2

Fig 3





















Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Cynopterus horsfieldii

Forearm Length : up to 7.6 cm
Weight : up to 70 grams

Horsfield's Fruit Bat is one of the largest of the genus Cynopterus. It occurs in a wide range of elevations, from lowland to montane, and in a broad range of habitats, including various forest types, plantations, orchards and mangrove.

It utilizes a variety of roosts including caves, abandoned buildings and sheltered spaces beneath large leaves. Its diet is varied and is known to include the fruits of Elaeocarpus, Payena and Ficus (i.e. figs). Some studies have concluded that this species is a nomadic bat, groups of which take advantage of fruiting episodes amongst rainforest trees far from their regular roost.

In the field it can be distinguished from the Lesser Dog-faced Fruit Bat by its larger size, broader wings and its robust, dog-like muzzle.

Its fur is mainly greyish-brown, but males possess orange-brown fur around the throat, which extends to the upper chest and shoulders. As with other Cynopterus bats, its wing bones and ears are edged with white.

This species is known from southern Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra and Java. There are no adequately documented records from Singapore, and its status there is considered 'indeterminate'.

Fig 1 : Adult male in an abandoned building near Fraser's Hill, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia.

Fig 2 : Example from Batu Ferringhi beach, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia, roosting beneath a fan palm.

Fig 3 : A significant mound of faecal droppings, seeds and other debris at a popular roosting spot.

References : M5, M6, M12