Common Name: Lesser short-nosed fruit bat
Scientific Name: Cynopterus brachyotis
Distribution: Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, s China, Malaysia, Nicobar and Andaman Isls, Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Magnole, Sanana, Sanghihe Isla, talaud Isls and adjacent small island. Perhaps present in the Palawan region of the Philippines (L. Heaney, pers. comm.)
Status: IUCN (2008) – Least Concern (LC).
The Short-nosed fruit bats, of which there are nine species, are quite common throughout their range of Southeast Asia. The Lesser short-nosed fruit bat is very small – having a wingspan of only 12 in (330 mm) and weighing approximately 1.5 oz (40 g). Their upper parts are typically bright orange with paler under parts, but there is much variation. Females have a gestation of 60-80 days and produce a single pup. They reach maturity at 6 months of age (males cannot reproduce till they are one year old).
The Lesser short-nosed fruit bat is an uncommon species in that it constructs roost tents out of the flower clusters and leaves of palms, bananas and other large leaf plants. By chewing the stems and veins the leaves collapse and form well engineered roosting shelters protecting the bats from the elements and predators.
These bats are frugivorous, and locate their preferred food items by sight and scent. They have been described as voracious feeders, eating more than their body weight in food in one sitting. Some preferred fruits include ripe guava, banana, chikus (a popular Indian fruit crop), dates and lychees. In the wild, they feed on fruits and nectar. In captivity they are fed a variety of fruits, nectar, fruit juice and Lubee’s fruit bat supplement.