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



Spotted-winged Fruit Bat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3






Family : Pteropodidae
Species : Balionycteris maculata

Forearm Length : up to 4.4 cm
Weight : up to 15 grams

Measuring just 5 or 6 cm from head to toe, and weighing no more than 15 grams, the Spotted-winged Fruit Bat is amongst the smallest of its type. The species inhabits lowland primary rainforest or tall secondary forest, where it feeds on forest fruits.

It is easily identified by its small size, and by the pale spots which adorn the wing and the finger joints : these may also occur on the face and at the base of the ear. The dorsal fur is dark brown to dark grey, or black, and the head has the darkest fur. The underside is pale grey, and there is no tail. The eyes are relatively large.

They generally roost in small groups, huddled together : roosts typically occur beneath palm leaves, or amongst epiphytes. The absence of such plants in recently logged forest may encourage these bats to roost under man-made structures. They have also been recorded roosting in caves.

The Spotted-winged Fruit Bat ranges from southern Thailand through Peninsular Malaysia to the Riau Archipelago and parts of Borneo. There are no records for Singapore.

Fig 1 : Four adult bats huddled together under a rain shelter at Bintan Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

Fig 2 : Single adult, measuring just 6 cm from head to toe.

Fig 3 : Part of a roost of six from Gunung Arong, Johor, Peninsular Malaysia.

References : M1, M2, M3