Pteropus livingstonii (Comoro black flying fox) is found on only two islands in the Comoro island chain, just off the coast of Africa. These islands are Nzwani, also called Anjouan, and Mwali, also called Moheli. (Emanoil, et al., 1994; Emanoil, et al., 1994)
Comoro black flying foxes prefer dense, upland mountain forests which have steep sided valleys. (Hutchins, et al., 2003)
Comoro black flying foxes have black pelage with golden or tawny tinges on the rump, sides of the belly, and at times on each shoulder. They have unique, semicircular ears. Both of these features distinguish them from other pteropodids. They weigh from 500 to 800 grams, have a wingspan up to 1.5 meters, and are about 30 cm in body length. (Emanoil, et al., 1994)
Comoro black flying foxes are polygynous. Females will mate with more than one male throughout their lifetime and males attempt to mate with as many females as they can. Males do not stay around after mating, leaving the females to raise and care for the young. (Hutchins, et al., 2003)
The breeding season for P. livingstonii is from January through June. Gestation lasts 4 to 6 months, after which a single young is born between July and October. Young are weaned within 4 to 6 months of being born. (Hutchins, et al., 2003; Hutchins, et al., 2003)
There was no information specifically on parental investment in P. livingstonii. In general, members of the genus Pteropus form maternity colonies where females and their young gather. Females forage at night and return to their young in the maternity roost to nurse them. (Gould, et al., 1973)
There is very little information known about the longevity of Comoro black flying foxes in either captivity or in the wild. Other Pteropus species are known to live up to 30 years in captivity, and around 10 years or more in the wild.
Comoro black flying foxes form small roosting groups which are called harems. They have very slow wing beats and often glide instead of flying. They use updrafts of warm air to help extend their gliding distance. Like other pteropodids, Comoro black flying foxes are active in the evening and at night when foraging for fruit. They roost and forage in groups. Comoro black flying foxes do not migrate. (Hutchins, et al., 2003)
There is no available information on the home range of Comoro black flying foxes.
In general, Pteropus species use olfaction to find fruiting trees and determine if fruit is ripe enough to eat. They have good vision and often use vocalizations to communicate. Like most mammal, chemoreception is important in communicating sexual receptiveness. (Dechmann, 2005)
Comoro black flying foxes are frugivorous. In the dry season they tend to be much more selective on what and where they feed, preferring fig trees. A very important tree for P. livingstonii and P. seychellensis is the giant-leaved fig tree (Ficus lutea). This tree is chosen over many other fig trees. In the rainy season Comoro black flying foxes feed on a larger variety of fruits because more are available. (Sewall, 2008)
Humans are primary predators of P. livingstonii, both for food and as a secondary result of forest destruction. Other predators have not been documented, but large arboreal snakes and raptors make take young and adults. (Emanoil, et al., 1994)
Members of the genus Pteropus are important in the dispersal of seeds in the forests they inhabit. They are often seen as keystone species because they maintain forest regeneration patterns. (Hutchins, et al., 2003)
Comoro black flying foxes are sometimes food for humans. They are also important members of their native ecosystems, helping to disperse fruiting tree species and sometimes pollinate plants. (Hutchins, et al., 2003)
There are no adverse effects of Comoro black flying foxes on humans.
Comoro black flying foxes are one of the most critically endangered bat species, with an estimated population size of 400 individuals. Rapid destruction of the forest habitats they rely on indicates these flying foxes may become extinct within 10 years.
Tanya Dewey (author, editor), Animal Diversity Web, Jess Long (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Chris Yahnke (editor, instructor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
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.
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
active at dawn and dusk
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.
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.
active during the night
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.
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.
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.
Dechmann, D. 2005. Studying Communication in Bats. Cognition, Brain, Behavior, 9: 4, 9. Accessed November 01, 2006 at http://www.zool.unizh.ch/Research/AnimalBehaviour/Koenig/Researchgroups/BatResearch/Vespertilio/Articol11.pdf.
Emanoil, M., J. Edward, D. Kasinec. 1994. Comoro black flying fox. Pp. 62-63 in M Emanoil, J Edward, D Kasinec, P Lewon, J Longe, K McGrath, Z Minderovic, J Muhr, N Schlager, B Tavers, S Walencewicz, R Young, eds. Encyclopedia of Endangered species, Vol. 1, 1 Edition. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc..
Gould, E., N. Woolf, D. Turner. 1973. Double-note Communication Calls in Bats: Occurrence in Three Families. Journal of Mammology, 54: 1000. Accessed November 01, 2006 at http://www.jstor.org/view/00222372/ap050221/05a00300/2?frame=noframe&userIDemail@example.com/01cc99332800501b041a7&dpi=3&config=jstor.
Hutchins, M., D. Kleiman, V. Geist. 2003. Species Account: Livingstone's fruit bat. Pp. 327 in M Hutchins, D Kleiman, V Geist, M McDade, eds. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 12-16, 2nd Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group.
Sewall, B. 2008. "Fruit bat foraging strategies on the island of Anjouan (Comoros Islands)." (On-line). ESA 2002 Annual Meeting. Accessed October 31, 2006 at http://abstracts.co.allenpress.com/pweb/esa2002/document/?ID=4545.