Animals

Did You Know? Incredible Rodrigues Flying Fox Facts

To get to know more about this bat, read these Rodrigues Flying Fox facts.
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The Rodrigues Flying Fox or Rodrigues fruit bat, Pteropus rodricensis as it is scientifically known, belongs to the family Pteropodidae. These are the largest bats in the world. The fruit bat lifespan ranges from 9-17 years and can live more years in captivity. Habitat loss is the major threat to this species. This bat conservation status is Critically Endangered because of habitat destruction. The deforestation and cyclones in the areas are also factors resulting in the bat conservation status. The flying fox size is not very big but is around 6-8 in (152-203 mm) long. This not-so-giant flying fox bat is a herbivore or frugivore and feeds on nectar, pollen, and fruits. These species are social ones and are found in large roost groups. They have a wingspan of around 50-90 cm and their weight could be around 350 g. Most of the reproduction is random and promiscuous and takes place by forming harems or groups of about 8-10 females and a single male. The hierarchy is based on the dominant male. Females roost in large groups and males roost alone. They use their sense of smell and eyes to locate food and lack complex echolocation. These bats are native to Rodrigues Island, an island in the Indian Ocean, and are thus, sometimes also called Rodrigues Island Flying fox. The species Pteropus rodricensis have thick fur that is usually dark chestnut brown in color with a golden brown covering. These fruit bat Rodrigues also have claws to climb and open and dig the fruit. The species Rodrigues Flying Fox, Pteropus rodricensis, is quite a fascinating species to learn about, and if you are interested, read about the red bat and kudu too.

Rodrigues Flying Fox

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Fruits, flowers, nectar, and pollen

What do they eat?

Herbivore

Average litter size?

1

How much do they weigh?

0.6 lb (0.3 kg)

How long are they?

6-8 in (152-203 mm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Orange, yellow, red, silver, and black

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Habitat destruction

What is their conservation status?

Critically Endangered

Where you'll find them

Forests

Locations

Rodrigues

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Pteropus rodricensis

Family

Pteropodidae

Genus

Pteropus

Rodrigues Flying Fox Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Rodrigues Flying Fox?

The Rodrigues fruit bat (Pteropus rodricensis) is a species of bat.

What class of animal does a Rodrigues Flying Fox belong to?

The Rodrigues fruit bat (Pteropus rodricensis) belongs to the class of mammals.

How many Rodrigues Flying Foxes are there in the world?

There has been no specific number of Rodrigues Flying Foxes recorded in the world.

Where does a Rodrigues Flying Fox live?

These Rodrigues fruit bats are native to Rodrigues Island, an island in the Indian Ocean belonging to Mauritius.

What is a Rodrigues Flying Fox's habitat?

The natural habitat of a Rodrigues fruit bat is tropical lowland and dense forests with large and mature trees.

Who do Rodrigues Flying Foxes live with?

These Rodrigues fruit bats are social animals and tend to live in large groups and roost together and form colonies. Females roost in large groups and males tend to roost alone.

How long does a Rodrigues Flying Fox live?

The lifespan of these Rodrigues fruit bats ranges from 9-17 years and it is believed that these bats can live longer in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The Rodrigues fruit bats breed from October to December in the wild. It is believed that the mating of these bats is random and promiscuous. They form groups or harems of up to eight females and one male. Males tend to attract and retain females by vocalization and flight displays. Scent marking is used to defend territories. Females produce one offspring per season but in captivity, they breed throughout the year and can produce two offsprings in a year. Gestation periods can last up to 120-180 days. Females give birth alone. The offsprings are born fully furred, wings are underdeveloped and thus, they cling to their mothers' bellies and drink from teats under their mother's armpits.

What is their conservation status?

The Rodrigues fruit bat conservation status is Critically Endangered.

Rodrigues Flying Fox Fun Facts

What do Rodrigues Flying Foxes look like?

This Rodrigues Flying Fox, Pteropus rodricensis, has thick fur and is usually has a dark chestnut brown color with a layer of golden brown covering the head, neck, and shoulders but its color varies from black, yellow silver, and orange. There is no tail present. These bats have large eyes and large and widely spaced ears. They have claws on the second finger and the thumb and the claw on the thumb is for climbing. Both the sexes are alike but males are slightly larger than females.

The ears and thick fur of this bat are some of its most identifiable features.

How cute are they?

These are not considered to be a cute fruit bat.  

How do they communicate?

As the Rodrigues fruit bats are frugivores, they do not echolocate. Sight and smell are used to find food. They also tend to scent mark their territories.

How big is a Rodrigues Flying Fox?

The Rodrigues fruit bats are 6-8 in (152-203 mm) long and can weigh about 0.6 lb (0.3 kg).

How fast can a Rodrigues Flying Fox move?

Flying Foxes can travel at 13 mph (21 kph).

How much does a Rodrigues Flying Fox weigh?

A Rodrigues Flying Fox can weigh up to 0.6 lb (0.3 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific or distinct names for a male and female Rodrigues fruit bat.

What would you call a baby Rodrigues Flying Fox?

Juvenile Rodrigues Flying Foxes are called pups.

What do they eat?

These fruit bats are nocturnal and at dusk, individuals go to trees with fruits to feed, rest and digest their food and then return to roost. The fruits are pressed and the juices and soft pulp are consumed. The fruits include guavas, mangoes, bananas, papayas, figs, and breadfruit.

Are they dangerous?

These fruit bats are not considered to be dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

It is believed that these bats species are native to Rodrigues Island and are critically endangered. Bats are not considered to be good pets, in general. Bats are considered to be gross by some people, and taking care of bats is time-consuming and expensive. In many countries such as the United States and Australia, it is illegal to own a (Rodrigues) fruit bat and flying foxes.

Did you know...

This species is the largest bat species in the world.

Almost 80% of the population is a part of the single colony at three roosters' sites.

These bats are useful to the environment as they are pollinators and seed dispersers.

These bats shake their wings to express aggressive behavior.

The pups stick to their mothers' bellies for about 30 days until it becomes heavy to carry and then it is left to roost.

These bats not only roost in dense and mature trees, but they also prefer these trees to save themselves from the harsh weather conditions.

The Rodrigues fruit bat is sedentary.

These bats are called 'Flying Foxes' because of their erect and pointed ears and long muzzles which make them look like small foxes.

Some farmers have the tendency to mistakenly believe that these bats harm or damage the fruit orchards.

These bats have lighter bones than other mammals which helps them fly. It is believed that bats are the only mammals capable of true flight.

This bat population's conservation is in the process as they are endangered.

Other characteristics of Flying Foxes

These Flying Foxes are mega big bats and are also commonly called fruit bats. The diet of these bats includes diet, nectar, pollen, and fruits. They do not use their sonar-like other small insect-eating bats and only use eyes and ears. Some flying foxes are known to carry viruses.

Rodrigues Flying Fox Adaptations

These bats have thumb and finger claws which help them climb trees and open and dig fruits. Unlike other bats, these fruit bats have good eyesight to look for food or fruits. This flying fox bat has strong and powerful teeth and a long tongue which helps these bats to open tough fruit rinds. The mobility of these bats helps them to travel more distances in search of fruits and thus, have broader hunting grounds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including armadillos, or megabats.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Flying Fox coloring pages.

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