Sunday 19 May
Javan tailless fruit bat (Megaerops kusnotoi)
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Javan tailless fruit bat fact file
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Javan tailless fruit bat description
An incredibly elusive species from Indonesia, the Javan tailless fruit bat (Megaerops kusnotoi) has greyish-brown fur on its upperparts, and slightly paler fur on its underparts (2). Like all those in the family Pteropodidae, the Old World fruit bats, the Javan tailless fruit bat has elongate, oval, simple ears and large, well-developed eyes. It is believed to navigate visually, rather than using echolocation like some bats (2). As its name indicates, the Javan tailless fruit bat lacks a tail (2).
- Head-body length: 7 - 10 cm (2)
Javan tailless fruit bat biology
Although little is known about the Javan tailless fruit bat, it is likely that, like other fruits bats, it is a nocturnal species with a frugivorous diet (2). The Javan tailless fruit bat probably spends the day roosting in trees in small groups or individually (1), where it hangs upside down by its feet (2). At dusk, this species will leave the roost and fly in search of fruit, which it locates using its sight and sense of smell. It crushes ripe fruit in its mouth, swallowing the juice and spitting out most of the pulp and seeds. Details of the Javan tailless fruit bats diet are not known, but other Old World fruit bats may also chew flowers to obtain nectar and juices (2). Due to the frugivorous diet of fruit bats, they play an important role in pollinating and dispersing the seeds of plants, many of which have great commercial value (3).
No information is available on the breeding biology of the Javan tailless fruit bat but, like other Old World fruit bats, it probably gives birth to a single young (2).Top
Javan tailless fruit bat range
The Javan tailless fruit bat occurs only on the island of Java, in Indonesia, and possibly also on the islands of Bali and Lombok, where specimens believed to be the Javan tailless fruit bat were recently found (1).Top
Javan tailless fruit bat habitatTop
Javan tailless fruit bat status
The Javan tailless fruit bat is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Javan tailless fruit bat threats
Habitat loss is believed to be a major threat to the Javan tailless fruit bat (1). Java has one of the highest human population densities in Asia, which is forcing the human population to clear more and more forest for settlements and agriculture (4). Around three-quarters of the type of forest inhabited by this species has already been cleared as a result of the expanding human population (4). Logging and mining are also a major cause of habitat destruction in the region (1).
In addition, the Javan tailless fruit bat may be impacted by volcanic activity, which repeatedly disturbs the vegetation and puts further pressure on the ecosystem. Gunung Raung, a mountain range in Java, has more active volcanoes than anywhere else in the world (4).Top
Javan tailless fruit bat conservation
There are not known to be any specific conservation measures in place for the Javan tailess fruit bat, but it does occur in a number of protected areas throughout its range (1). Around 23 percent of the Java-Bali montane rainforest habitat is protected (4).Top
Find out more
Learn about wildlife conservation in Indonesia:
ProFauna - Forest Conservation in Java:
Wildlife Conservation Society:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- Detecting objects by reflected sound. Used by bats and odontocete cetaceans (toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises) for orientation and to detect and locate prey.
- Evergreen forest
- Forest consisting mainly of evergreen trees, which retain leaves all year round. This is in contrast to deciduous trees, which completely lose their leaves for part of the year.
- Having a diet that comprises primarily of fruit.
- Of mountains, or growing in mountains.
- Active at night.
- Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
IUCN Red List (September, 2011)
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Whitten, T., Soeriaatmadja, R.E. and Afiff, S.A. (1996) The Ecology of Java and Bali. Periplus Editions, UK.
WWF - Eastern Java-Bali Montane Rain Forests (November, 2010)
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