Javan tailless fruit bat (Megaerops kusnotoi)

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Javan tailless fruit bat fact file

Javan tailless fruit bat description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderChiroptera
FamilyPteropodidae
GenusMegaerops (1)

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).

Size
Head-body length: 7 - 10 cm (2)
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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).

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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).

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Javan tailless fruit bat habitat

Occurring in tropical montane evergreen forest, the Javan tailless fruit bat has been found up to 700 metres above sea level, but is suspected to also occur at higher elevations (1).

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Javan tailless fruit bat status

The Javan tailless fruit bat is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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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).

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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).

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Find out more

Learn about wildlife conservation in Indonesia:

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Authentication

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:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
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Glossary

Echolocation
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.
Frugivorous
Having a diet that comprises primarily of fruit.
Montane
Of mountains, or growing in mountains.
Nocturnal
Active at night.
Pollinating
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.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker’s Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
  3. Whitten, T., Soeriaatmadja, R.E. and Afiff, S.A. (1996) The Ecology of Java and Bali. Periplus Editions, UK.
  4. WWF - Eastern Java-Bali Montane Rain Forests (November, 2010)
    http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/im/im0112_full.html
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Image credit

Javan tailess fruit bat head profile  
Javan tailess fruit bat head profile

© Maharadatunkamsi

Datun Maharadatunkamsi
Zoological Division
Research Center for Biology-LIPI
Jl. Raya Jakarta Bogor Km. 46
Cibinong, Bogor
16911
Indonesia
Tel: +62 (0) 21 8765056
datun_mzb@yahoo.com

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