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Common Fruit Bat Cynopterus sp


A small group hides under a leaf of a palm tree.

A close-up shot of an individual

Photo by K W Chan at Central Catchment Nature Reserve


Status: Vulnerable

Interesting Facts: Like all fruits bat, they have large, conspicuous eyes which give off a dull red eye-shine when flashed by a torchlight at night. Most fruit bats lack echolocation and rely strictly on eyesight and smell to find their way.

The Common Fruit Bat has a unique behaviours. It constructs a tent out of the leaves of palm trees, bananas and other large leaf plants. By chewing the veins, the leaves collapse and form a well-engineered roosting cavities, covering the bats from direct sunlight and rain.

Size: Forearm 5.5-6.5cm,

Diet: Fruits. Sucking out juices and soft pulp. May accept nectar and pollen.

Activity: Nocturnal, move out to feed before dusk.

Habitat: Roosts in small group in trees under leaves. Occurs in forest and mangroves.

Threats: Habitat destruction

Chiku is one of its favorite fruit. This one was approaching a chiku. You can see from its right wing, it has 5 digits or fingers. The wings are essential modified hands - hence bats are classified under the order Chiroptera, meaning "hand wing" in Greek.

Photographs by K W Chan