Straw-colored fruit bat

Latin Name
Eidolon helvum




A large fruit-bat species, the straw-colored fruit bat can reach up to 8.5 inches in length and have a 30-inch wingspan. The bat gets its name from the yellowish fur around its neck, which is more conspicuous in adult males.



The straw-colored fruit bat is widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and can also be found on the southwest portion of the Arabian Peninsula.


Straw-colored fruit bats are common throughout their range.


The species can be found in a range of habitats, from tropical forests to savannas. Forested areas are favored habitats, as they feature an abundance of the fruits the bat feeds on.


The species is nocturnal, roosting in tall trees during the day and flying at night in search of fruit. The bats suck the juices from ripe fruit, spitting out the pulp as they feed. To find their meals, straw-colored fruit bats can forage over a range of 18 miles.

Life History

The species lives in large colonies, which can range in size from 100,000–1 million bats. After breeding, females sometimes experience delayed implantation of the fertilized egg, timing the birth for food to be plentiful when offspring first venture out on their own. Bats are unable to fly at birth, and mothers alone provide care.

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ARKive video - Straw-coloured fruit bat - overviewARKive image - Straw-coloured fruit bat roostingARKive image - Back of a straw-coloured fruit bat

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