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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2021



Lyle's Flying Fox

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4


Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Pteropus lylei

Forearm Length : up to 16 cm
Weight : up to 480 gms

Lyle's Flying Fox is a species of limited distribution, which roosts by day in large colonies in protected areas of villages, towns and cities, such as the leafy compounds of Buddhist temples and other buildings where they can be free of persecution.

At sunset they radiate out into rural areas to feed on fruits and, as a consequence, they may be killed by farmers and landowners when they raid fruit orchards.

The species can be distinguished from other flying foxes on the basis of size and fur colour. The wing membranes are dark brown and the lower back has short, brownish-grey fur. Fur on the upper back, chest and throat is orange and fluffy. The head is dark brown, and fur on the underside is generally darker, sometimes black.

Lyle's Flying Fox occurs in the central plains of Thailand, including towns around the capital Bangkok, and parts of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Fig 1 : A Lyle's Flying Fox rests by day in the shade of a tree in the compound of a Buddhist temple.

Fig 2 : Flying foxes have intelligent, dog-like faces with forward-facing eyes.

Fig 3 : This bat is scratching its head with its thumb. Note the characteristic sharp demarcation between the orange fur of the upper back, and the brownish-grey fur of the lower back.

Fig 4 : Example from Siem Reap, Cambodia.

References : M5