Pteropus conspicillatus

Pteropus conspicillatus (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Eutheria
Ordo: Chiroptera
Subordo: Megachiroptera
Familia: Pteropodidae
Subfamilia: Pteropodinae
Tribus: Pteropodini
Subtribus: Pteropodina
Genus: Pteropus
Species: Pteropus conspicillatus
Subspecies: P. c. chrysauchen - P. c. conspicillatus

Name

Pteropus conspicillatus Gould, 1849

Type locality: Australia, Queensland, Fitzroy Island.
References

* Gould. 1849. Proceedings of the Zool. Soc. London, 1849: 109.
* Conservation status: IUCN Red List

Distribution

* North Moluccas (Indonesia)
* New Guinea and West Papuan Islands (Raja Ampat Island, off North-West coast of New Guinea)
* North-East Queensland (Australia)

Vernacular names
English: Spectacled Flying Fox.

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The Spectacled Flying-fox, Pteropus conspicillatus also known as the Spectacled Fruit Bat, lives in Australia's north-eastern west regions of Queensland. It is also found in New Guinea and on the offshore islands including Woodlark Island, Alcester Island, Kiriwina, and Halmahera.

The Spectacled Flying-fox was listed as a threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. They are considered vulnerable due to a significant decline in numbers as a result of loss of their prime feeding habitat and secluded camp sites.
Physical Characteristics

The head and body length is 22–25 cm, forearm 16–18 cm, weight 400–1000 g. A large black flying fox has pale yellow or straw-colored fur around its eyes. The mantle is pale yellow and goes across the back, neck, and shoulders. Some have pale yellow fur on the face and top of the head.

Habitat

Spectacled Flying-foxes are forest dwellers and rainforests are its preferred habitat. They prefer to roost in the middle and upper canopies of rainforest in the full sun. Colonies of the Spectacled Flying-fox can also be found in mangroves, paperbark and eucalypt forests. No colony is known to be found more than 7 km from a rainforest. It lives in the canopy and lives off of the various fruits that are found there.

Diet

The Spectacled Flying-fox's natural diet is rainforest fruits, riparian zone flowers, and flowers from Myrtaceae (primarily Eucalyptus and Syzigium species) and fruits from the Moraceae (figs) and Myrtaceae (primarily Syzigium) (AMBS 2004a; Richards 1987).

Life Cycle

Spectacled Flying-foxes have one pup annually. Females are capable of breeding at one year of age (Garnett et al. 1999). Males probably do not breed until three to four years of age. They are suspected to be polygamous (similar to Grey-headed Flying-foxes (P. poliocephalus). Female to male ration is at least 2:1 (C. Tidemann undated, pers. comm. cited in Garnett et al. 1999). Conception occurs April to May. Sexual activity is continuous from about January to June. Females give birth to one young per year - October to December period. Juveniles are nursed for over five months and, on weaning, congregate in nursery trees in the colony. The juveniles fly out for increasing distances with the colony at night and are 'parked' in nursery trees, often kilometres distant from the colony, and are brought back to the colony in the morning (Richards & Spencer 1998).

Life expectancy

The natural lifespan is not known although one captive individual reached 17 years of age (Hall 1995; Flannery 1995). It is assumed most wild flying-foxes live much shorter lives (Garnett et al. 1999).
References

* Birt, P., Markus, N., Collins, L. & Hall, L. (1998) Nature Australia, Spring, pp. 55-59.
* Churchill, S. (1998) Australian Bats, Reed New Holland, Sydney, pp. 84-85.
* Hall, L. (1983) Spectacled flying fox. In R. Strahan (ed.). The Mammals of Australia, Reed Books, Chatswood, p. 282.

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