Lesser Dog-Faced Fruit Bat
Fun Fact: The bat is a symbol of death and rebirth because it lives in the “belly” of Mother Earth. (The “belly” is the “womb-like” caves they emerge from every evening at dusk.)
Body and Skeletal Structure:
Lesser Short-Nosed Fruit bats typically range from being 2.8 to 5 in (~7.1-12.7cm) in head-to-body length. Tail length ranges from 0.6 to 1.6 cm (6-16mm). Forearm length can range from 2.2 to 3.6 in (55-92 mm). This length allows for a wingspan ranging from 12 to 18 in (305-457mm). As for weight, adults can range from 1 to 3.5 oz (28-100 g).
Each lesser dog-faced fruit bat has, of course, a dog-like face. They have large dark eyes and white-edged ear. Their white finger bones stand out against their black wings. They have short & dark grey-brown to yellow-brown fur on their back while their underside is a bit paler. Adult males typically have a dark orange-red collar while the females have a yellow-orange collar. The young bats of this species lack the collar the adults have, and they tend to be all grey.
The Lesser Dog-Faced Fruit Bat is frugivorous, meaning they feed on fruits. Some of their preferred fruits include ripe guava, banana, chikus, dates, and lychees. They also feed on nectar. However, in captivity, these bats are fed a variety of fruits, fruit juice, nectar, and Lubee’s fruit bat supplement.
These bats usually age up to 20 to 30 years old.
Fun Fact: Bats are the only mammals to have evolved powered flight.
Mating Season: Typically Non-Seasonal (Most pregnancies do tend to occur from March-June though.)
Gestation Period: 60-80 days
Litter Size: 1 pup
Communication and Behavior:
The lesser dog-faced fruit bat fruit bat is an uncommon species because it creates roost tents out of the flower clusters and leaves of palms, bananas and other large leaf plants. These bats chew on the stems and veins of these plants and the leaves then collapse and form well engineered roosting shelters. These shelters can be found in a variety of caves, rock crevices, and trees, and they protect the bats from predators and the natural elements of nature.
Lesser dog-faced fruit bats can live either solitarily or in colonies. (Colonies range in size, but it’s possible for them to contain over a hundred individuals.) Social bats that live in colonies have complex social behaviors. This can include polygamy and various vocal communication signals. This particular type of bat doesn’t really echolocate though, since they have no need to do so with the way they are and the particular food the eat. On a side note, they become active a little after sunset and simply fly directly to their food.
Habitat and Range:
Lesser dog-faced fruit bats roost in various caves, rock crevices, trees, and even man-made structures. These little roosts are usually found in rainforests, islands, oil palm plantations, gardens, and mangroves around Southwest india.
These bats are of least concern right now. However, with their decline in population due to deforestation and habitat loss, that may change.