Little Mariana fruit bat

The little Mariana fruit bat ("Pteropus tokudae")or Sheath-tail bat, is smaller than the Mariana fruit bat, measuring 140 to 151 mm, with a wingspan of 650 to 709 mm. The Mariana fruit bat ("Piteous marinas") measures 195 to 250 mm from head to rump, with a wingspan of 860 to 1065 mm. The abdomen and wings are brown to dark brown but with few whitish hairs. The mantle and sides of the neck vary from brown to pale gold. The top of the head is grayish to yellowish brown while the throat and chin are dark brown. The last known bat colony was discovered by Charlie Ogo Atalig of Rota as he treaded through Tonga Cave.

Both bats are called "fanihi" in Chamorro, a language spoken in Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Behavior

Mariana fruit bats are found in Guam and CNMI, and move from island to island. In northern Guam, bats primarily forage and roost in native limestone forest. Coconut groves and strand vegetation are other plant communities used occasionally for feeding and roosting. In southern Guam, a few fruit bats still inhabit ravine forests. Farms, savannas, and mangroves are habitats that receive little or no use at present but may have been used commonly in the past when bats were more abundant and widespread on the island.

Fruit bat colonies sleep during much of the day, but they perform many other activities as well such as grooming, breeding, and scent rubbing, marking, flying, climbing to other roost spots, and defending roosting territories (harem males only). Bats gradually depart colonies for several hours after sunset to forage.

[http://www.guamdawr.org/learningcenter/factsheets/mammals/images/s_tail_bat.jpg]

Nutrition

The fruit bat feeds on a wide variety of plant material but primarily on fruits. It appears that the favored foods include the fruits of breadfruit, papaya, fading, figs, café, and talisman and the flowers of kapok, coconut, and gaga.

Some bats eat fruit while others eat night flying insects and grasshoppers, and some even eat small animals and minnows. The fruit eating bats (found in tropical climates) are very good for our food crops because they are pollinators and they help spread seeds when they drop the seeds when they eat the fruit. Some of the fruits they pollinate are bananas, mangoes, and guavas. Many trees grow mainly because of the bats. Bats are not blind...and insect eating bats use something called echolocation to help them find the bugs. The echolocation is sounds that the bats make - the sounds are high frequency calls that bounce off of the insects so the bats can quickly find them.

Habitat

Mariana fruit bats are found in Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and move from island to island. In northern Guam, bats forage and roost mostly in native "limestone" forest, a local forest type characterized by limestone terraces and volcanic soils. Fruit bat colonies sleep during the day, but perform other activities diurnally as well-grooming, breeding, scent-rubbing, marking, flying, climbing to other roost spots, and, in the case of so-called "harem males," defending roosting territories.

References

* http://www.guamdawr.org/learningcenter/factsheets/mammals/fruitbat_html


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