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EONYCTERIS SPELAEA

CAVE NECTAR BAT

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KINGDOM : Animalia

PHYLUM : Chordata

CLASS : Mammalia

ORDER : Chiroptera

FAMILY :Pteropodidae

GENUS :Eonycteris

SPECIES :Eonycteris spelaea

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Order Mega/Micro chiroptera


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EONYCTERIS SPELAEA

CAVE NECTAR BAT

Cave nectar bat (Eonycteris spelaea), common names also include dawn bat, common dawn bat, common nectar bat and lesser dawn bat , is a species of megabat within the genus Eonycteris. The scientific name of the species is first published by Dobson in 1871.

Cave Nectar Bats roost in large, noisy colonies of hundreds or thousands. Travelling many kilometres each night in search of the nectar of flowering trees and shrubs, this species is an important pollinator of fruit trees such as durian, the 'king of fruits'.

Description

The upperparts of the Cave nectar bat are grey-brown to dark brown to black. The underparts are paler and the neck is sometimes yellowish brown. The muzzle of this bat is elongated, and particularly adapted for drinking nectar. The species has as well an external tail. The head and body length measures 8.5-11 cm , the tail length is about 1.5-1.8 cm and the forearm length measures 6-7 cm.

Habits and Habitat

The Cave nectar bat is found in primary forests and in disturbed and agricultural areas. It roosts in caves, in larger groups, with some roosts exceeding 50,000 individuals, and it sometimes roosts with other bat species. But in some places, this species seems to have adapted well to leafy, semi-urban habitats. E. spelaea travels many kilometres each night in search of the nectar of flowering trees and shrubs. Because of that, this bat species is an very important pollinator of fruit trees, such as durian.

Distribution

E. spelaea lives in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia (Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi and some other small islands), Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, India and Timor-Leste. It had been previously recorded from Gomantong, Sukau, Segama and Madai in Sabah; Niah, Sungai Tinjar and Kuching in Sarawak; and Sungai Tengah and Kutai in Kalimantan .

Reproduction

Lesser dawn fruit bats are thought to be polygynous with single males mating with multiple females. Penis, baculum, and testes size are not a factor in male reproductive success, as sperm competition does not occur as in multi-male polyandrous and polygynandrous mating systems. However, residual baculum lengths are greater than in monogamous systems. It is reasonable that body size is a factor in mate selection in both sexes as it is generally an indicator of superior genes and fitness.

There is conflicting information on the cycle/pattern of estrus as well as birth in E. spelaea females. One study finds females exhibiting a pattern characterized by synchronous births and seasonal, bimodal polyestry, while other sources find no synchronicity between females and no seasonal synchronicity. Lesser dawn fruit bats are polyestrus and births occur in two seasonal peaks, which is consistent with females coming into estrus twice a year. The usual number of offspring per year is two. Gestation is reported to be 3 to 4 months; however, other reports suggest gestation periods possibly as long as 200 days (between 6 and 7 months). Weaning occurs at 3 months. Females mature between 6 months and 1 year. Males mature between 1 and 2 years.

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