Straw-Colored Fruit Bat
WIdespread throughout Africa and Madagascar
Found in most forests and savannah zones south of the Sahara
The straw-colored fruit bat gets its name from the yellowish or straw-colored fur around the neck. Part of neck and back can be yellowish-brown while their underside is tawny olive or brownish.
This species is nocturnal, roosting in tall trees during the day and flying at night in search of fruit. They roost in a very social group of from 100,000 to 1,000,000 individuals, leaving at night in small groups to find food in nearby forests or on plantations. They find food by sight, as well as by smell. Because they eat fruit and flowers, they play a very important role in pollination and seed dispersal of the forests. They can be active during the day while resting, as they move around the roost. Their wings are long and narrow, allowing them to fly long distances and not expend too much energy by flapping a lot.
They breed in the late spring, April – June. Implantation can be delayed, but usually occurs in October, with birth between December and January. Twins are very rare in this species. The delayed implantation of the egg occurs so that births coincide with the onset of wettest season, when the maximum amount of fruit is available.
The mother holds the baby, wrapping her wings around it to keep it warm while it nurses. It is then left at the roost with all the other babies while the mothers fly out to find food each night.
There are about 250 species of spear-nosed bats and flying foxes. These bats are important to over 130 genera of plants because they pollinate their flowers and/or disperse their seeds.
|Did YOU Know?|
|Bats spend much of their time at roosts washing and grooming, often hanging by one foot while the other foot vigorously combs all parts of the body.|