Egyptian fruit bat

Latin Name
Rousettus aegyptiacus

Class
Mammals

Order
Chiroptera

Description

Egyptian fruit bats have a wingspan that can reach 2 feet and a body length averaging 6 inches. They have light-brown bodies, darker wings and a long muzzle. Males are darker than females.


 

Range

The Egyptian fruit bat is broadly distributed, inhabiting much of sub-Saharan Africa as well as northern Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan.


Status

The species is common throughout its range. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the Egyptian Fruit Bat Species Survival Plan®, a shared management effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


Habitat

The Egyptian fruit bat favors forest and grassland habitats where it can find the fruit that makes up its diet.


Niche

As their name indicates, Egyptian fruit bats feed almost exclusively on soft fruits, such as dates, fig, apples and apricots. They are nocturnal, flying out at night in search of food. The species is one of few fruit-eating bats to roost in caves. In Africa, colonies can include up to 9,000 bats. Middle Eastern colonies are smaller, generally ranging from 50-500 individuals.


Life History

Female fruit bats give birth after a gestation period of 105-120 days. There is usually just one offspring. It clings to the mother for the first three weeks, until it's able to hang on its own. Bats can fly at three months, at which point they begin foraging for their own food.


Special Adaptations

Bats of the Rousettus genus, including Egyptian fruit bats, are the only fruit-eating bat species to use echolocation to navigate. The species produces sounds and uses their echoes to identify objects in their surroundings.



Bonus Content

Bat Attitude
Creepy? Hardly. Bats benefit ecologies and economies. We set the record straight with a closer look at the zoo’s sweet-toothed Egyptian fruit bats.

 


ARKive Media

ARKive image - Egyptian fruit bats roosting, subspecies <i>aegyptiacus</i>ARKive video - Egyptian fruit bat - overviewARKive image - Egyptian fruit bats flying and roosting, subspecies <i>aegyptiacus</i>

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Lincoln Park Zoo Exhibit