Food habits of Cynopterus brachyotis (Muller) (Chiroptera

Pteropodidae) in Peninsular Malaysia

K. H. Tan, Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad, T. H. Kunz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information on the feeding habits of the lesser dog-faced fruit bat, Cynopterus brachyotis, was obtained by the collection of food remains directly beneath daytime and feeding roosts. The bats were found to feed on the fruits of 54 plant species, the leaves of 14 species and the flower parts of four species. The seasonal phenological differences among congeneric plant species led to a steady production of fruit throughout the year and the data suggest that Ficus spp. are a key component in the diet. Judging from its wide selection of fruits, C. brachyotis, is considered to be an important seed disperser. Folivory in C. brachyotis appears to be more common than previously thought. Of the leaves consumed by the bats, seven species belonged to the family Leguminosae, followed by Myrtaceae, Moraceae, Rhizophoraceae and Euphorbiaceae. Fruits, in general, provide an energy-rich diet for phytophagous bats but most are low in protein. In contrast, leaves consumed by bats have a relatively high protein content. We suggest that folivory (by leaf fractionation) should be energetically more advantageous than the ingestion of large amounts of low protein fruit or the active pursuit of mobile insects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Tropical Ecology
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 1998

Fingerprint

Cynopterus
Pteropodidae
Malaysia
Chiroptera
bat
fruit
fruits
food
leaves
herbivores
protein
Rhizophoraceae
Moraceae
Ficus
diet
Myrtaceae
Euphorbiaceae
Fabaceae
fruiting
fractionation

Keywords

  • Cynopterus brachyotis
  • Ficus
  • Flowers
  • Folivory
  • Fruits
  • Malaysia
  • Secondary forest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

Cite this

Food habits of Cynopterus brachyotis (Muller) (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae) in Peninsular Malaysia. / Tan, K. H.; Mukhtar Ahmad, Zubaid Akbar; Kunz, T. H.

In: Journal of Tropical Ecology, Vol. 14, No. 3, 05.1998, p. 299-307.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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