Egyptian fruit bat in exhibit

Egyptian Fruit Bat

Scientific Name
Rousettus aegyptiacus
Geographic Range
Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern Africa, and the Middle East
Pulp and juice of very ripe fruit
Egyptian fruit bat in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Egyptian fruit bats have light-brown or medium-gray bodies, dark brown wings with a claw at the end, a long muzzle, and a two-foot wingspan. They weigh up to 6 ounces and measure between 5–7.5 inches long on average. Their groups vary in size; small colonies may have just 20 individuals, but large ones may include more than 9,000. They prefer slightly humid resting places, such as caves and ruins. When roosting, they stay close to maintain their body temperature.

These bats breed twice yearly. Colonies will synchronize births, so all pups are born at the same time. Gestation is about four months most pups can fly by the time they are three months old. They become independent at nine months and reach maturity at around 15 months.

Did You Know?

  • Bats are the only mammals naturally capable of true, sustained flight. Egyptian fruit bats are important pollinators for many night-flowering trees.
  • These bats hold fruit close to their body while they feed to prevent other bats from stealing their food. When they fight, they strike each other repeatedly with half-open wings.
  • Egyptian fruit bats have eyes adapted for night vision, but they also use echolocation. They are one of the three members of their genus that use both strategies to find food. Their version of echolocation is slightly different than other bats; they make clicks with their tongue against the side of their mouth, then analyze the echoes that bounce back.


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