An exclusively vegetarian species (7), the ornate flying fox feeds on tropical fruit and blossoms, including guava, mango, papaya, banana and passion fruit. It chews up the fruit and swallows the juice, spitting out the pulp and seeds (2). Due to their diet and feeding habits, flying foxes are considered to play an important role in seed dispersal for a great variety of plants (5).
During the day, this highly social species roosts in ‘camps’ of hundreds or, more rarely, thousands of individuals, which often spread over several acres of rainforest canopy. These camps are often used by generation after generation for many years and are rarely abandoned (2). Although nocturnal, there is constant movement and squabbling in the camps and during cold or rainy weather several bats may cluster together for protection (2).
The ornate flying fox reaches sexual maturity at two years old. A single young is born after a gestation period of about six months. After birth the pup stays with the female for three to four months, often sheltering under her wing during the day, and remaining at the roost at night while the female is away foraging (2).