Under favourable conditions, female lesser short-nosed fruit bats give birth to one pup twice each year, once between mid January and mid April, and again between mid June and early October. Pregnancy lasts between five and six months and the birth of the pups does not necessarily occur in time with flowering or fruiting (6). Females carry their pup in flight for the first few months of life, until it has learnt to fly with confidence (2). The young become sexually mature at seven months, and females will give birth to their first pup at just over 12 months old (6).
Lesser short-nosed fruit bats become active shortly after sunset and fly directly to fruiting trees up to 2 km away (7) to feed on small fruits, including mangoes (6) and figs, as well as on nectar (8). They fly around the trees several times before settling on the fruit (7), where they use claws on the first and second digits of the hands, as well as their strong feet, to cling on to bunches of fruit whilst feeding. As fruit bats do not echolocate, they must find their food using their large eyes and strong sense of smell. During the day, they return to their roosts under shaded trees, tree-ferns and near the entrances of caves (8). This species is a particularly important seed-disperser; it is a seasonal specialist, and over an annual fruiting cycle can consume the fruits of 54 species, the leaves of 14 species and the flower parts of four species (9).