Malayan Flying Fox

Location

In the Zoo

Scientific Information

Scientific Name: Pteropus vampyrus
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Pteropodidae
Genus: Pteropus

Size

Male

Female

Height: 8-15 inches 8-15 inches
Length: 6 feet
Weight: 2.5 pounds 2.5 pounds
Maturity: 18-24 months 18-24 months

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet: Herbivorous
Activity Timeframe: Nocturnal
Interactivity: Social
Sexual Dimorphism: Yes
Gestation: 180 days
Lifespan in the Wild: 15 years
Lifespan in Captivity: 30 years

Geographic Range

Vietnam, Burma, Malaysian Peninsula, Borneo, Philippines, Sumatra, Java, and Lesser Sunda Islands, adjacent small islands including Anak Krakatau.

Conservation

Status in the Wild: Near Threatened
Threats: Habitat Loss

Characteristics

As the name suggests, the head resembles that of a small fox. Females have one pair of mammae located in the chest region. Ears are simple (long and pointed) with the outer margin forming an unbroken ring. Toes have sharp curved claws. Scent glands produce a strong musky odor.

Species Specifics

The Malayan Flying Fox is the largest member of Pteropus. Head is red or russet, turns deep orange during breeding season. Males have stiffer fur and neck tufts. Females are slightly smaller.

Physical Characteristics

Large well-developed eyes for flight navigation

Ecology

Habitat

Forests, swamps, small islands near coasts

Distribution

Will travel up to 12 km from their roost site to find food.

Diet

Fruit juice from pulp squeezed in mouth. Flowers, nectar, fruits, pollen, leaves. They can eat half their body weight in food daily

Ecological Web

Bats are very important pollinators and seed distributors.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Roost in emergent trees. Fly nightly up to 50 km to reach feeding grounds.

Behavior

During hot days, this species will flap its wings, lick its chest, and pant to cool off. During cool or rainy weather, they will completely wrap both wings around their body to conserve body heat.

Social Behavior

Feeding groups of up to 50. Roosting colonies however can be much larger. The largest known colony in Subic Bay has 20,000 individuals. Territorial over the best trees - swinging, growling to discourage others from landing.

Reproductive Behavior

One male with a small harem of females. Synchronous birthing.

Offspring

Usually single birth. Twins are rare. Born in March-May. Suckle for 2-3 months. Carried for first few days, then left in roost tree. Nearly mature after 3-4 months

Conservation

Status

Listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Historical

Colony size has greatly reduced in modern times. In the past, colonies of up to 52,000 individuals were found. Now in some places in Thailand, this species hasn't been seen in 100 years. Smaller colonies of 3,000 individuals are found in other parts of Thailand.

Current Threats

Habitat Loss

Our Role

Yearly donation to Lubee Bat Conservancy

How You Can Help

Support Lubee Bat Conservancy. Support Bat Conservation International (BCI).

Fascinating Facts

Chiroptera means "hand-wing."

Important pollinator and seed disperser because of their habit of spitting out fruit seeds and also through the ones that pass through their system.

References

Lubee Bat Conservancy. "Large or Malayan Flying Fox." lubee.org/bats/our-bats/large-flying-fox-or-malayan-flying-fox/.

National Aviary. "Malayan Flying Fox." www.aviary.org/animals/Malayan-Flying-Fox.

P.O. Box 5238

9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605