Lifestyle and Lifespan
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.
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.
Large well-developed eyes for flight navigation
Forests, swamps, small islands near coasts
Will travel up to 12 km from their roost site to find food.
Fruit juice from pulp squeezed in mouth. Flowers, nectar, fruits, pollen, leaves. They can eat half their body weight in food daily
Bats are very important pollinators and seed distributors.
Roost in emergent trees. Fly nightly up to 50 km to reach feeding grounds.
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.
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.
One male with a small harem of females. Synchronous birthing.
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
Listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Listed on Appendix II of CITES.
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.
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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.
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.