- Common Name
- Malayan flying fox, large flying fox, flying fox
- Genus Species
- Pteropus vampyrus
- Malayan flying foxes are very large bats and the heads have a distinctive fox-like appearance. Their head is reddish brown and their body is brown to black with yellow patches between the shoulders.
- Wingspan measures up to1.8 m (6 ft.).
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs.)
- Primarily fruit-eaters but they may also feed on flowers, nectar, pollen, and leaves
- 180 days; gives birth to a single pup and occasionally twins. The young will stay with the mother for 3 to 4 months.
- Sexual Maturity
- 18 to 24 months
- Life Span
- 20 to 30 years
- The Malayan flying fox is native to Southeast Asia and can be found in Vietnam, Myanmar, the Malaysian Peninsula, Indonesia, Borneo, and the Philippines.
- Prefers rainforests habitats and can also be found on offshore islands. They range from sea level to 1,300 m (4,225 ft.).
- Global: Unknown
- IUCN: Near Threatened (NT)
CITES: Appendix II
USFWS: Not listed
- Malayan flying foxes are one of the world's largest bat species.
- Contrary to their scientific name, Malayan flying foxes are not vampire bats. They are ffruit-eaters.
- Flying foxes have long, sharp, curved claws on their toes which allow them to hang effortlessly upside-down in trees.
- Malayan flying foxes do not have the ability to echolocate but can use their sharp vision to locate prey.
- Bats are the world's only flying mammals. Other mammals may glide through the air, but bats flap their wings and fly.
- Malayan flying foxes are mostly nocturnal, flying up to 60 km (36 mi.) a night while foraging.
Ecology and Conservation
The greatest threats to Malayan Flying Foxes are habitat loss, persecution as crop pests and being hunted as a source of bushmeat.
There are 7 subspecies with the most threatened being Pteropus vampyrus lanensis of the Philippines.
As fruit-eating animals, Malayan flying foxes are important propagators of tropical plants. Many plant seedlings sprout only after having passed through an animal's digestive system.
Macdonald, David , ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxfordshire: Andromeda Oxford Ltd, 2001.
Lubee Bat Conservancy – Malayan Flying Fox Species Profile. http://www.lubee.org/bats/our-bats/large-flying-fox-or-malayan-flying-fox/. Downloaded 18 October 2018.