Manado rousette (Rousettus bidens)

Also known as: Manado fruit bat
GenusRousettus (1)
SizeHead-body length: 138 mm (2)
Tail length: 25 mm (2)
Average weight: 171 g (3)

The Manado rousette is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

A species of fruit bat, the Manado rousette (Rousettus bidens) has dark brown fur on the back, a russet coloured rump, and dull brown underparts (2). The male Manado rousettes is distinguished by having a dark brown to light golden buffy mantle of fur, and similarly coloured long hairs on the throat. The female Manado rousette lacks these features (2).

Like other species of Old World fruit bat (species in the Pteropodidae family), the Manado rousette has oval, elongate ears and large, well-developed eyes (2). Rousettus species are the only Old World fruit bats known to use echolocation while flying. They produce audible clicks to navigate the forest, but rely on sight and smell to locate food (2).

The Manado rousette is endemic to Indonesia, where it occurs on the islands of Sulawesi, Lembeh, Buton and Manado (1).

A lowland bat, the Mandado rousette is typically found at elevations between 200 and 500 metres, where it inhabits forests and roosts in caves. It can also be found foraging in habitats which are partially cultivated (1) (3).

Information on the biology of the Manado rousette is extremely scarce, although many aspects of its biology are likely to be similar to that of other Rousettus species.

Rousettus fruit bats typically feed on fruit juices and flower nectar (2). Like other Rousettus species, the Manado rousette is probably a gregarious species, which roosts in large groups in caves (2). 

Rousettus females typically give birth to a single young, after a gestation period of four months (2). Two pregnant Manado rousette females were recorded in June and July (3).

Numbers of the Manado rousette are expected to decline due to habitat loss caused by the conversion of land for agricultural (1).

The local bushmeat trade also poses a threat (1), as the Manado rousette is hunted for food in northern Sulawesi (4).

Currently, there are no specific conservation measures in place for the Manado rousette. However, this bat can be found in three reserves on the eastern side of Sulawesi as well as in the Domoga Bone National Park, which hopefully offers this species’ some protection (1).

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  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
  2. Nowak, R.M. (1994) Walker’s Bats of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  3. Bergmans, W. and Rozendaal, F.G. (1988) Notes on collections of fruit bats from Sulawesi and some off-lying islands (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). Zoologische Verhandelingen, 248: 1-74.
  4. Mickleburgh, S.P., Hutson, A.M. and Racey, P.A. (1992) Old World Fruit Bats: An Action Plan for their Conservation. IUCN/SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.