The large flying fox roosts in colonies that can contain anywhere between a few individuals to thousands (2). Leaving the roost near sunset, the large flying fox flies silently to feeding areas, which can be up to 50 kilometres away. It often circles a fruit tree before landing, and noisy feeding groups numbering a few to over 50 bats form (2). Unlike many other bats, which use echolocation in order to navigate, flying foxes depend on sight in order to find their way at night (4). While it is known as a ‘fruit bat’, and will eat the fruit of rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), fig (Ficus species) and langsat (Lansium domesticum) trees, the large flying fox also feeds on the nectar and flowers of coconut (Cocos nucifera) and durian (Durio zibethinus) trees (2) (5). It has a long tongue which enables it to lick the nectar without damaging the flower (2). As it feeds from a flower, pollen may stick to its fur, resulting in it being carried to another plant; thus the large flying fox is an important pollinator of many forest plants (6).
Female large flying foxes typically give birth to a single young each year, the timing of which depends on the location. In the Philippines, most births take place during April and May, while in Thailand births peak during March or early April (2). The young bat is carried by its mother for the first few days, but is then left in the roost while the mother forages. The young suckles from its mother for two to three months (2).