Bat (Egyptian fruit bat) / Rousettus aegyptiacus

Did you know...

These bats can eat their own weight in fruit in just one night!

Egyptian fruit bats are teetotal. Scientists have shown that Egyptian fruit bats will smell the alcohol (ethanol) produced by fermenting fruit and will actively avoid it.

Fruit bats are also known as “flying foxes” because of their dog-like snout

Egyptian fruit bats are the smallest of the Megachiroptera or Old world fruit bats.

70% of all of the World’s fruit is pollinated solely by bats.

All 17 species of Britsh bat eat insects (are Insectivorous) not fruit eaters

All 17 species are protected by law and need our help to survive.

For more information visit www.bats.org.uk

The Egyptian fruit bat is found across sub-Saharan Africa across the Middle east and into N. India and Pakistan where it inhabits tropical rainforests, tropical deciduous forest, dry scrub forest and savanna . They do however prefer forest habitats with ample fruit production near the caves which they use as roosts.

They are medium sized bats with the males being typically larger than the females. They are found in large roosts which may number up to 2,000 individuals which communicate by sound. A constant hum of noise can be heard in large roosts as the animals squabble and fight over roosting spots, females and food. Most of the day is spent sleeping and grooming.

Egyptian fruit bats leave their roosts at sunset each evening to feed on a range of fruits. They return to the roost at dawn. They consume 50 -150% of their body weight of very ripe fruit each night. They navigate by using echolocation.

A female fruit bat produces one baby or occasionally twins, after a gestation period of around 4 months. Females give birth in the roosting position, hanging from her perch by her toes and with her wings slightly open. Once the pup is born she enfolds it in her wings to protect it from the other bats in the roost. The youngster is weaned after 6-10 weeks after which it begins to fly in search of its own food but will remain with its mother until they reach adult weight and size at around 9 months. The breeding season normally runs between June and September in the wild.

Egyptian fruit bats are not regarded as being threatened with extinction in the wild.