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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Large Flying Fox
   
   

Fig 1 
 

Fig 2
 

Fig 3
  

Fig 4

Order : CHIROPTERA
Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Pteropus vampyrus

Forearm Length : up to 20 cm
Weight : up to 1.1 kg

Pteropus vampyrus, the Large Flying Fox, is one of the largest species of bat in the world, although a few other species of Pteropus and Acerodon are larger and heavier.

The impressive wingspan of this species may reach 1.5 metres, and the wings appear very broad when in flight.

This species roosts in large, noisy colonies, often in mangrove. Large flocks of many hundreds are known to migrate great distances in search of fruiting or flowering trees, sometimes on a seasonal basis.

Their diet comprises nectar and fruit including cultivated fruits such as mango and rambutan, and the species plays a role in pollination of durian flowers.

Its wings are dark in direct light, but reddish-orange when backlit by sunlight: grey streaks may be present. The back of the head, neck and mantle have woolly, orange-brown fur. The underparts are blackish brown. The skull and brain case are elongated.

This impressive species of bat occurs in the south of the four countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. Its range extends through Peninsular Malaysia to much of Indonesia (excluding Sulawesi and areas further east) and Timor-Leste, and there are scattered populations in the Philippines.

In Singapore this flying fox sometimes appears in small groups but not on an annual basis, however in June 2020 a large flock was observed in the central forests of Singapore Island.

Figs 1 to 3 : This roost in the Malay Peninsula comprises more than 100 bats, some roosting singly and others grouped closely together.

Fig 4 : The impressive wingspan of this flying fox can reach 1.5 metres.

Fig 5 : Circling above a potential roost, early one morning in Singapore.  Photo thanks to Sabrina Jabbar.


References : M5

Video: Bat activity at a roost in Singapore at dusk.
ゥ Anon.


I

 

Fig 5
 
ゥ  Sabrina Jabbar