Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Island Flying Fox
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4


Fig 5


 

Order : CHIROPTERA
Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Pteropus hypomelanus

Forearm Length : up to 15 cm
Weight : up to 210 gms

Worldwide there are around 60 species of Flying Fox in the genus Pteropus, of which around 20 occur in Southeast Asia. Many species have restricted distributions in remote islands of central and eastern Indonesia.

The Island Flying Fox is the smallest Pteropus species : as its name suggests, it inhabits offshore islands. Its preferred roosts are in coconut palms and Casuarina trees. Its noisy, daytime roosts may number in the hundreds and are sometimes located close to towns and villages.

Its fur colour is variable but is generally dark grey-brown on the lower back to orange-brown in the underparts and around the chest and face. 

This species occurs on smaller islands throughout Southeast Asia to New Guinea.  Many populations have been decimated where the local culture includes these bats as a food source.
 

Fig 1 : A pair of Island Flying Fox in a Casuarina roost at Pulau Tioman, Peninsular Malaysia.

Figs 2 to 4 : Part of a large flock of Island Fruit Bat found feeding on ripe figs after dusk, at Nikoi Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

Fig 5 : Dark specimen, from Nikoi Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.


References : M1, M2, M3