Variable flying foxes are found at elevations ranging from sea level to greater than 900 meters in the Philippines, but it is uncommon to find them in montane upland forest and submontane rainforest. However, variable flying foxes are found no higher than 100 meters above sea level in the Conflict Islands. Forested areas of small to medium sized islands and lowland and disturbed forests are the main habitat of (Jones and Kunz, 2000; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003). They can be found in broadleaf forests, coconut groves, and orchards.
A naked dorsal tibia distinguishes Pteropus species. Length of forearm, overall body size, and locality generally are also useful for differentiating between members of the genus Pteropus. Variable flying foxes have a nearly four foot wingspan (1.21 m). Overall body length is 183 to 240 mm. Variable flying foxes are sexually dimorphic with males weighing 567 to 576 g and females weighing 467.5 to 472.5 g. They are distinguished from Pteropus faunulus by their larger body size, larger teeth, and shorter fur. The species has a forearm length of 121 to 150 mm and a skull length of 62.1 to 69.0 mm. The specis Pteropus dasymallus is different in its longer and denser pelage and fur on the upper surface of its dorsal tibia. The species is smaller than Pteropus alecto, Pteropus conspicillatus, Pteropus macrotis, Pteropus neohibernicus and Pteropus vampyrus. Also, a pale patch of fur on the chest of distinguishes it from P. vampyrus. Variable flying foxes differ from Pteropus pumilus in their larger size and dark brown hairs on the throat instead of pale gray. Variable flying foxes are distinguished from Dobsonia chapmani by the presence of a claw on the second digit and by having four upper and two lower incisors. (Jones and Kunz, 2000; "Lubee Bat Conservancy", 2004; McNab and Armstrong, 2001)from other
The body of (Jones and Kunz, 2000)is fully furred and fur color is highly variable. The fur on the head is most commonly dark brown, but can range from light to yellowish brown. This head and mantle pelage color varies geographically, being darker in the western portions of the range and lighter in eastern portions of the range. Dorsum fur is brown to reddish brown while some subspecies have gray or silver hairs. Stomach color ranges from a golden buff to a cream buff. The hair around the eyes is generally grayish in color. The ears are covered in long, sparse hair on the front, but are nearly naked towards the back. The hair is short and dense on the forehead but becomes longer gradually from the neck to the mantle. The dorsal fur of is quite short while the ventral fur is an average length. The midline of the back attaches to the wing membranes as well as the base of the first phalanx of the second toe.
The cranium of (Jones and Kunz, 2000)is large, elongate, and robust, with well-developed postorbital processes and a bony spur on anterior surface of the zygomatic arch. There is often a well-developed sagittal crest, formed by the fusion of the temporal ridges.
Males have basal metabolic rates that are higher than expected, given their body size (0.627 ± 0.0216 cm3O2/g•h). Females have basal metabolic rates lower than expected, 83% of the expected value, given their body size (0.487 ± 0.0167 cm3O2/g•h)
In the Philippines, a Pteropus species is usually from February to April. Lactating females were found in August, and lactation generally lasts about six weeks. Reproductive maturity is obtained at the age of one year for both males and females. In a captive setting, females were able to give birth each month of the year with a peak in the birth period occurring in May and June. Gestation lasts for 180 to 210 days. (Jones and Kunz, 2000; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)pregnancy occurred in April and births recorded in April and May. The mating season of
Variable flying foxes have never been found more than 8 km away from a known roosting site. (Jones and Kunz, 2000)
Variable flying foxes have keen eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell. They communicate with vocalizations, touch, visual displays, and chemical cues. They use their sense of smell and vision to navigate and locate food. ("Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)
Variable flying foxes feed primarily on fruit and nectar from wild and cultivated plants. Known food sources include pawpaw fruits, mangos, jambu, bananas or plantains, figs, banyan flowers, berries of the damba tree, fruits of cultivated crops, flowers of the kapok tree, chico, coconut flowers, and fruits of the babolo tree. Food is found through a highly specialized sense of sight and smell. Variable flying foxes eat about half of their own body weight daily. (Jones and Kunz, 2000; "Lubee Bat Conservancy", 2004; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)
Variable flying foxes are hunted by humans for food. Their noisy roosting habits allow hunters to easily find them. Variable flying foxes are also often exported as a food source. (Jones and Kunz, 2000; "Lubee Bat Conservancy", 2004; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)
Variable flying foxes act as pollinators and seed dispersers, as do many other members of the genus Pteropus. About half of bat-dependent plants are used for nourishment, materials, and medicine by humans. (Helmick, et al., 2002; Helmick, et al., 2002; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)
Natives of the Philippines and Malaysia export these bats as food. Variable flying foxes are considered a delicacy in some parts of its range. A typical dish includes the animal in its entirety, fur, wings and innards, which is boiled in coconut milk and eaten as is. However, ("Lubee Bat Conservancy", 2004; McNab and Armstrong, 2001; "Old World Fruit Bats I", 2003)is protected in many areas.
Names for (Jones and Kunz, 2000)include the island fox, Condoro Island flying fox, variable flying fox, lesser flying fox, kluang kechil, kalong kecil, memboi, and udawed, depending on geographic location. The word Pteropus comes from the Greek word pteron, meaning ‘foot’. In addition, the Greek words hypo, meaning ‘below’ or ‘underneath’, and melan, meaning ‘black’ or ‘dark’, help derive the more specific name hypomelanus.
It has been recently discovered that a Pasteurella-like organism has been causing cases of pneumonia in.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Ryan Ouillette (author), Kalamazoo College, Ann Fraser (editor, instructor), Kalamazoo College.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Lubee Bat Conservancy. 2004. "Lubee Bat Conservancy" (On-line). Lubee Bat Conservancy. Accessed November 19, 2005 at http://www.lubee.org/center-bats-pteropus_hypomelanus.aspx.
The Gale Group, Inc. 2003. Old World Fruit Bats I. Pp. 319-325 in M Hutchins, D Kleiman, M McDade, V Geist, eds. Pteropus Hypomelanus, Vol. 13, Second Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia.
Allen, G. 1940. Bats. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Flannery, T. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific & Moluccan Islands. Chatswood, Australia and Ithaca, New York: Reed Books and Cornell University Press.
Helmick, K., D. Heard, L. Richey, M. Finnegan, G. Ellis, A. Nguyen, L. Tucker, R. Weyant. 2002. A PASTEURELLA-LIKE BACTERIUM ASSOCIATED WITH PNEUMONIA IN CAPTIVE MEGACHIROPTERANS. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 35/1: 88–93. Accessed November 23, 2005 at http://0-www.bioone.org.ariadne.kzoo.edu/bioone/?request=get-document&issn=1042-7260&volume=035&issue=01&page=0088.
Jones, D., T. Kunz. 2000. Pteropus hypomelanus. Mammalian Species, 693: 1-6. Accessed November 03, 2005 at www.science.smith.edu/departments/ Biology/VHAYSSEN/msi/pdf/639_Pteropus_hypomelanus.pdf.
McNab, B., M. Armstrong. 2001. SEXUAL DIMORPHISM AND SCALING OF ENERGETICS IN FLYING FOXES OF THE GENUS PTEROPUS. Journal of Mammology, Vol. 82, No. 3: 709–720. Accessed November 19, 2005 at http://0-www.bioone.org.ariadne.kzoo.edu/bioone/?request=get-document&issn=1545-1542&volume=082&issue=03&page=0709.
Wilson, D. 1997. Bats In Question. Hong Kong: Smithsonian Institution Press.