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Megabats constitute the suborder Megachiroptera, family Pteropodidae of the order Chiroptera (bats). They are also called fruit bats, old world fruit bats, or flying foxes.


Description Edit

The megabat, contrary to its name, is not always large: the smallest species is 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long and thus smaller than some microbats.[citation needed] The largest reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in length and attain a wingspan of 150 centimetres (4.9 ft), weighing in at nearly 1 kilogram (2.2 lb). Most fruit bats have large eyes, allowing them to orient visually in the twilight of dusk and inside caves and forests.

Their sense of smell is excellent. In contrast to the microbats, the fruit bats do not, as a rule, use echolocation (with one exception, the Egyptian fruit bat Rousettus egyptiacus, which uses high-pitched clicks to navigate in caves).


Behaviour and ecology Edit

Fruit bats are frugivorous or nectarivorous, i.e., they eat fruits or lick nectar from flowers. Often the fruits are crushed and only the juices consumed. The teeth are adapted to bite through hard fruit skins. Large fruit bats must land in order to eat fruit, while the smaller species are able to hover with flapping wings in front of a flower or fruit.

Frugivorous bats aid the distribution of plants (and therefore, forests) by carrying the fruits with them and spitting the seeds or eliminating them elsewhere. Nectarivores actually pollinate visited plants. They bear long tongues that are inserted deep into the flower; pollen thereby passed to the bat is then transported to the next blossom visited, pollinating it. This relationship between plants and bats is a form of mutualism known as chiropterophily. Examples of plants that benefit from this arrangement include the baobabs of the genus Adansonia and the sausage tree (Kigelia).

Classification Edit

Bats are usually thought to belong to one of two monophyletic groups, a view that is reflected in their classification into two suborders (Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera). According to this hypothesis, all living megabats and microbats are descendants of a common ancestor species that was already capable of flight. However, there have been other views, and a vigorous debate persists to this date. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, some researchers proposed (based primarily on the similarity of the visual pathways) that the Megachiroptera were in fact more closely affiliated with the primates than the Microchiroptera, with the two groups of bats having therefore evolved flight via convergence (see Flying primates theory).[1] However, a recent flurry of genetic studies confirms the more longstanding notion that all bats are indeed members of the same clade, the Chiroptera.[2][3] Other studies have recently suggested that certain families of microbats (possibly the horseshoe bats, mouse-tailed bats and the false vampires) are evolutionarily closer to the fruit bats than to other microbats.[2][4]

List of species Edit

The family Pteropodidae is divided into seven subfamilies with 186 total extant species, represented by 44 - 46 genera:

FAMILY PTEROPODIDAE

  • Subfamily Nyctimeninae
 * Genus Nyctimene - tube-nosed fruit bats 
  * Broad-striped Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene aello 
  * Common Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene albiventer 
  * Pallas's Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene cephalotes 
  * Dark Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene celaeno 
  * Mountain Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene certans 
  * Round-eared Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene cyclotis 
  * Dragon Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene draconilla 
  * Keast's Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene keasti 
  * Island Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene major 
  * Malaita Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene malaitensis 
  * Demonic Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene masalai 
  * Lesser Tube-nosed Bat, Nyctimene minutus 
  * Philippine Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene rabori 
  * Eastern Tube-nosed Bat, Nyctimene robinsoni 
  * Nendo Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene sanctacrucis (early 20th century †) 
  * Umboi Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Nyctimene vizcaccia 
* Genus Paranyctimene 
  * Lesser Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Paranyctimene raptor 
  * Steadfast Tube-nosed Fruit Bat, Paranyctimene tenax 
  • Subfamily Cynopterinae
* Genus Aethalops - pygmy fruit bats 
  * Borneo Fruit Bat, Aethalops aequalis 
  * Pygmy Fruit Bat, Aethalops alecto 
* Genus Alionycteris 
  * Mindanao Pygmy Fruit Bat, Alionycteris paucidentata 
* Genus Balionycteris 
  * Spotted-winged Fruit Bat, Balionycteris maculata 
* Genus Chironax 
  * Black-capped Fruit Bat, Chironax melanocephalus 
* Genus Cynopterus - dog-faced fruit bats or short-nosed fruit bats 
  * Lesser Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus brachyotis 
  * Horsfield’s Fruit Bat, Cynopterus horsfieldii 
  * Peters’s Fruit Bat, Cynopterus luzoniensis 
  * Minute Fruit Bat, Cynopterus minutus 
  * Nusatenggara Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus nusatenggara 
  * Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus sphinx 
  * Indonesian Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus titthaecheilus 
* Genus Dyacopterus - Dayak fruit bats 
  * Brooks’s Dyak Fruit Bat, Dyacopterus brooksi 
  * Rickart's Dyak Fruit Bat, Dyacopterus rickarti 
  * Dayak Fruit Bat, Dyacopterus spadiceus 
* Genus Haplonycteris 
  * Fischer's Pygmy Fruit Bat, Haplonycteris fischeri 
* Genus Latidens 
  * Salim Ali's Fruit Bat, Latidens salimalii 
* Genus Megaerops 
  * Tailess Fruit Bat, Megaerops ecaudatus 
  * Javan Tailless Fruit Bat, Megaerops kusnotoi 
  * Ratanaworabhan's Fruit Bat, Megaerops niphanae 
  * White-collared Fruit Bat, Megaerops wetmorei 
* Genus Otopteropus 
  * Luzon Fruit Bat, Otopteropus cartilagonodus 
* Genus Penthetor 
  * Dusky Fruit Bat, Penthetor lucasi 
* Genus Ptenochirus - musky fruit bats 
  * Greater Musky Fruit Bat, Ptenochirus jagori 
  * Lesser Musky Fruit Bat, Ptenochirus minor 
* Genus Sphaerias 
  * Blanford's Fruit Bat, Sphaerias blanfordi 
* Genus Thoopterus 
  * Swift Fruit Bat, Thoopterus nigrescens 
  • Subfamily Harpiyonycterinae
* Genus Aproteles 
  * Bulmer's Fruit Bat, Aproteles bulmerae 
* Genus Dobsonia - bare-backed fruit bats 
  * Andersen's Bare-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia anderseni 
  * Beaufort's Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia beauforti 
  * Philippine Bare-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia chapmani 
  * Halmahera Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia crenulata 
  * Biak Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia emersa 
  * Sulawesi Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia exoleta 
  * Solomon's Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia inermis 
  * Lesser Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia minor 
  * Moluccan Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia moluccensis 
  * Panniet Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia pannietensis 
  * Western Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia peroni 
 * New Britain Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia praedatrix 
 * Greenish Naked-backed Fruit Bat, Dobsonia viridis 
* Genus Harpyionycteris 
 *Sulawesi Harpy Fruit Bat, Harpyionycteris celebensis 
 * Harpy Fruit Bat, Harpyionycteris whiteheadi 
  • Subfamily Macroglossinae
* Genus Macroglossus - long-tongued fruit bats 
 * Long-tongued Nectar Bat, Macroglossus minimus 
 * Long-tongued Fruit Bat, Macroglossus sobrinus 
* Genus Melonycteris 
 * Fardoulis' Blossom Bat, Melonycteris fardoulisi 
 * Black-bellied Fruit Bat, Melonycteris melanops 
 * Woodford's Fruit Bat, Melonycteris woodfordi 
* Genus Notopteris - long-tailed fruit bats 
 * Long-tailed Fruit Bat, Notopteris macdonaldi (Fiji and Vanuatu) 
 * New Caledonia Blossom Bat, Notopteris neocaledonica (New Caledonia)

* Genus Syconycteris - blossom bats 
 * Common Blossom Bat, Syconycteris australis 
 * Halmahera Blossom Bat, Syconycteris carolinae 
 * Moss-forest Blossom Bat, Syconycteris hobbit 
  • Subfamily Pteropodinae
* Genus Acerodon 
  * Sulawesi Flying Fox, Acerodon celebensis 
  * Talaud Flying Fox, Acerodon humilis 
  * Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox, Acerodon jubatus 
  * Palawan Fruit Bat, Acerodon leucotis 
  * Panay Giant Fruit Bat, Acerodon lucifer (1996 †) 
  * Sunda Flying Fox, Acerodon mackloti 
* Genus Desmalopex 
  * White-winged Flying Fox, Desmalopex leucopterus 
  * Small White-winged Flying Fox, Desmalopex microleucopterus 
* Genus Eidolon - straw-coloured fruit bats 
  * Madagascan Fruit Bat, Eidolon dupreanum 
  * Straw-coloured Fruit Bat, Eidolon helvum 
* Genus Mirimiri 
  * Fijian Monkey-faced Bat, Mirimiri acrodonta 
* Genus Neopteryx 
  * Small-toothed Fruit Bat, Neopteryx frosti 
* Genus Pteralopex 
  * Bougainville Monkey-faced Bat, Pteralopex anceps 
  * Guadalcanal Monkey-faced Bat, Pteralopex atrata 
  * Greater Monkey-faced Bat, Pteralopex flanneryi 
  * Montane Monkey-faced Bat, Pteralopex pulchra 
  * New Georgian Monkey-faced Bat, Pteralopex taki 
* Genus Pteropus - flying foxes 
  • P. alecto species group
 * Black Flying Fox, Pteropus alecto 
  • P. caniceps species group
 * Ashy-headed Flying Fox, Pteropus caniceps 
  • P. chrysoproctus species group
 * Silvery Flying Fox, Pteropus argentatus 
 * Moluccan Flying Fox, Pteropus chrysoproctus 
 * Makira Flying Fox, Pteropus cognatus 
 * Banks Flying Fox, Pteropus fundatus 
 * Solomons Flying Fox, Pteropus rayneri 
 * Rennell Flying Fox, Pteropus rennelli 
  • P. conspicillatus species group
 * Spectacled Flying Fox, Pteropus conspicillatus 
 * Ceram Fruit Bat, Pteropus ocularis 
  • P. livingstonii species group
 * Aru Flying Fox, Pteropus aruensis 
 * Kei Flying Fox, Pteropus keyensis 
 * Livingstone's Fruit Bat, Pteropus livingstonii 
 * Black-bearded Flying Fox, Pteropus melanopogon 

P. mariannus species group Okinawa Flying Fox, Pteropus loochoensis Mariana Fruit Bat, Pteropus mariannus Pelew Flying Fox, Pteropus pelewensis Kosrae Flying Fox, Pteropus ualanus Yap Flying Fox, Pteropus yapensis P. melanotus species group Black-eared Flying Fox, Pteropus melanotus P. molossinus species group Lombok Flying Fox, Pteropus lombocensis Caroline Flying Fox, Pteropus molossinus Rodrigues Flying Fox, Pteropus rodricensis P. neohibernicus species group Bismarck Flying Fox, Pteropus neohibernicus P. niger species group Aldabra Flying Fox, Pteropus aldabrensis Mauritian Flying Fox, Pteropus niger Madagascan Flying Fox, Pteropus rufus Seychelles Fruit Bat, Pteropus seychellensis Pemba Flying Fox, Pteropus voeltzkowi P. personatus species group Bismark Masked Flying Fox, Pteropus capistratus Masked Flying Fox, Pteropus personatus Temminck's Flying Fox, Pteropus temminckii P. poliocephalus species group Big-eared Flying Fox, Pteropus macrotis Geelvink Bay Flying Fox, Pteropus pohlei Grey-headed Flying Fox, Pteropus poliocephalus P. pselaphon species group Chuuk Flying Fox, Pteropus insularis Temotu Flying Fox, Pteropus nitendiensis Large Palau Flying Fox, Pteropus pilosus (19th century †) Bonin Flying Fox, Pteropus pselaphon Guam Flying Fox, Pteropus tokudae (1970s †) Insular Flying Fox, Pteropus tonganus Vanikoro Flying Fox, Pteropus tuberculatus New Caledonia Flying Fox, Pteropus vetulus P. samoensis species group Vanuatu Flying Fox, Pteropus anetianus Samoa Flying Fox, Pteropus samoensis P. scapulatus species group Gilliard's Flying Fox, Pteropus gilliardorum Lesser Flying Fox, Pteropus mahaganus Little Red Flying Fox, Pteropus scapulatus Dwarf Flying Fox, Pteropus woodfordi

  • P. subniger species group
 * Admiralty Flying Fox, Pteropus admiralitatum 
 * Dusky Flying Fox, Pteropus brunneus (19th century †) 
 * Ryukyu Flying Fox, Pteropus dasymallus 
 * Nicobar Flying Fox, Pteropus faunulus 
 * Gray Flying Fox, Pteropus griseus 
 * Ontong Java Flying Fox, Pteropus howensis 
 * Small Flying Fox, Pteropus hypomelanus 

Ornate Flying Fox, Pteropus ornatus Little Golden-mantled Flying Fox, Pteropus pumilus Philippine Gray Flying Fox, Pteropus speciosus Small Mauritian Flying Fox, Pteropus subniger (19th century †) P. vampyrus species group Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus Andersen's Flying Fox, Pteropus intermedius Lyle's Flying Fox, Pteropus lylei Large Flying Fox, Pteropus vampyrus incertae sedis Small Samoan Flying Fox, Pteropus allenorum (19th century †) Large Samoan Flying Fox, Pteropus coxi (19th century †) Genus Styloctenium Mindoro Stripe-faced Fruit Bat, Styloctenium mindorensis Sulawesi Stripe-faced Fruit Bat, Styloctenium wallacei Subfamily Rousettinae Genus Eonycteris - dawn fruit bats Greater Nectar Bat, Eonycteris major Cave Nectar Bat, Eonycteris spelaea Philippine Dawn Bat, Eonycteris robusta Genus Rousettus - rousette fruit bats Subgenus Boneia Manado Fruit Bat, Rousettus (Boneia) bidens Subgenus Rousettus Geoffroy's Rousette, Rousettus amplexicaudatus Sulawesi Rousette, Rousettus celebensis Egyptian Rousette (Egyptian Fruit Bat), Rousettus aegyptiacus Leschenault's Rousette, Rousettus leschenaulti Linduan Rousette, Rousettus linduensis Comoro Rousette, Rousettus obliviosus Bare-backed Rousette, Rousettus spinalatus Subgenus Stenonycteris Long-haired Rousette, Rousettus (Stenonycteris) lanosus Madagascar Rousette, Rousettus (Stenonycteris) madagascariensis Subfamily Epomophorinae Tribe Epomophorini Genus Epomophorus - epauleted fruit bats Angolan Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus angolensis Ansell's Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus anselli Peters's Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus crypturus Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus gambianus Lesser Angolan Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus grandis Ethiopian Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus labiatus East African Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus minimus Minor Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus minor Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomophorus wahlbergi Genus Epomops - epauleted bats Buettikofer's Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomops buettikoferi Dobson's Fruit Bat, Epomops dobsoni Franquet's Epauletted Fruit Bat, Epomops franqueti Genus Hypsignathus Hammer-headed Bat, Hypsignathus monstrosus Genus Micropteropus - dwarf epauleted bats Hayman's Dwarf Epauletted Fruit Bat, Micropteropus intermedius Peter's Dwarf Epauletted Fruit Bat, Micropteropus pusillus Genus Nanonycteris Veldkamp's Dwarf Epauletted Fruit Bat, Nanonycteris veldkampii Tribe Myonycterini Genus Lissonycteris Angolan Rousette, Lissonycteris angolensis Genus Megaloglossus Woermann's Bat, Megaloglossus woermanni Genus Myonycteris - little collared fruit bats São Tomé Collared Fruit Bat, Myonycteris brachycephala East African Little Collared Fruit Bat, Myonycteris relicta Little Collared Fruit Bat, Myonycteris torquata

  • Tribe Plerotini
* Genus Plerotes 
 * D'Anchieta's Fruit Bat, Plerotes anchietae 

Tribe Scotonycterini Genus Casinycteris Short-palated Fruit Bat, Casinycteris argynnis Genus Scotonycteris Zenker's Fruit Bat, Scotonycteris zenkeri Pohle's Fruit Bat, Scotonycteris ophiodon

As disease reservoirs Edit

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