DWARF EPAULETTED FRUIT BAT – Micropteropus pusillus

DWARF EPAULETTED FRUIT BAT

Dwarf epauletted fruit bat facts: Dwarf epauletted fruit bats are relatively small. Their head and body length is approximately 2.6 to 3.7 inches (6.7 to 9.5 centimeters). Males are larger than females. While the tail length varies among individual bats, it is never long, ranging from not having a tail to 0.2 inches (0.4 centimeters). Fur is typically a light brown with a paler color on the underside. The hair is moderately long, thick, and soft. At the base of the ear are small whitish tufts of hair and males have pouches in their shoulder with tufts of white hair.

Geographic range: Dwarf epauletted fruit bats are found in western, southwestern, and central Africa.

Habitat: These bats live in open woodlands and on the edges of forests. Dwarf epauletted bats have also been found between the leaves of dense bushes, usually close to the ground.

Dwarf epauletted fruit bat diet: Dwarf epauletted bats feed on small fruits, nectar, and pollen. When eating the fruits, these bats place their mouths around the ripe fruit and slowly suck its juices. They then drop the uneaten fruit pulp when they are finished.

Behavior and reproduction: Little is known about the dwarf epauletted bat’s behavior and mating behavior. Dwarf epauletted bats are independent, typically roosting alone, with one other bat, or in small groups of up to ten. These bats move about frequently and do not have a regular roosting spots or feeding areas. These bats may eat two and a half times their body weight in a single night. It digests quickly and disperses, spreads, large quantities of seeds as it flies between feeding sites.

These bats are polygamous (puh-LIH-guh-mus), having more than one mate. There are two breeding seasons. Studies in the Ivory Coast indicate that births peaks from about March to May and from September to November. The gestation period is five to six months. Young females can mate at six months and give birth at twelve months.

Dwarf epauletted fruit bats and people: There is no known relationship between dwarf epauletted bats and people.

Conservation status: Dwarf epauletted bats are not listed as threatened.