What do Australian flying foxes eat?

This video says about itself:

29 December 2011

With their giant wingspans, flying foxes are the world’s biggest bats. Australia’s black flying foxes are a prime example, with wingspans up to six feet (two meters)!

From the Australian Journal of Zoology:

Dietary variation in spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) of the Australian Wet Tropics

The diet of Pteropus conspicillatus, a large flying fox, was examined by collecting faeces in traps beneath daytime roost trees in four geographically distinct camps in the Wet Tropics bioregion of North-eastern Queensland, Australia.

Faecal analyses revealed that P. conspicillatus utilise a broad variety of plant resources from a variety of habitats.

Seed and pulp from figs (Ficus spp., Moraceae) and pollen from the family Myrtaceae were most frequently represented in the faeces from a range of both wet sclerophyll and rainforest habitats.

The dietary composition of P. conspicillatus at individual camps could not be predicted by the habitats located within a typical foraging distance of each camp (20 km), and although consistent dietary changes were seen across all camps over time, each camp had a unique dietary signature indicative of feeding on a distinct subset of available vegetation.

The unique diet of each camp and the variety of dietary items consumed suggest that camps may need to be managed on an individual camp-specific basis, and that P. conspicillatus are utilising a broader range of resources than would be expected if the species was a strict ‘rainforest-fruit specialist’.

Also on flying foxes: here.

6 thoughts on “What do Australian flying foxes eat?

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