Straw-Colored Fruit Bats
second type of bat at the Indianapolis Zoo is the straw-colored fruit bat, and
oddly enough, it is not entirely the color of straw! While the neck
and back are yellowish-brown, the underside tends toward a tawny olive or
brown. The fur around the neck of male is bright orange, and the
wings are black.
Like the flying fox, this is one of the larger species of fruit bats,
with males slightly larger than females. They typically weigh 8-12
ounces and measure 5-8 inches in length. Their wingspan can ranges
from two to three feet, and the wings are long and narrow, allowing them to
fly long distances without expending too much energy.
Straw-colored fruit bats are widespread throughout Africa and Madagascar
and are usually found in most forests and the the savanna zones south of the
species of bat is a very social, roosting species. They tend to gather
in huge groups of 100,000-1,000,000 individuals! At night the colony
leaves the roost in small groups to find food, which is usually in nearby
forests or plantations. They find their food by sight, as well as
smell. Because they eat fruits and flowers, they play a very
important role in pollination and seed dispersal of the forests. Even
though they feed at night, they can be active during the day while resting,
as they move about the roost.
Unlike the island flying fox, however, this species is abundant and not
listed as threatened or endangered.
Lubee Bat Conservancy
Bat Conservation International