Ryukyu flying fox

The Ryukyu flying fox or Ryukyu fruit bat (Pteropus dasymallus) is a species of megabat in the family Pteropodidae. It is found in Japan, Taiwan, and the Batanes and Babuyan Islands of the Philippines. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss and by hunting for food and the IUCN classify it as "Vulnerable".

Ryukyu flying fox
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Chiroptera
Family: Pteropodidae
Genus: Pteropus
P. dasymallus
Binomial name
Pteropus dasymallus
Temminck, 1825
Ryukyu Flying Fox area
Ryukyu flying fox range

Taxonomy and etymology

It was described as a new species in 1825 by Dutch zoologist Coenraad Jacob Temminck. Temminck acquired the specimens used for his description from Dutch businessman Jan Cock Blomhoff[2] Its species name "dasymallus" is likely from Ancient Greek dasús, meaning 'hairy', and Ancient Greek mallós, meaning 'woolly'; Temminck described its fur as long and woolly.[2] The five subspecies are:[3]

  • Daito fruit bat - P. d. daitoensis
  • Erabu fruit bat - P. d. dasymallus
  • Taiwanese fruit bat - P. d. formosus
  • Orii's fruit bat - P. d. inopinatus
  • Yaeyama fruit bat - P. d. yayeyamae

The subspecies are based on populations that occur on different islands.[4]


The Ryukyu flying fox is slightly smaller than the Indian flying fox, with a wingspan of 1.24–1.41 m (4 ft 1 in–4 ft 8 in). It weighs 400–500 g (0.88–1.10 lb).[4] Its forearm is approximately 140 mm (5.5 in) long.[5] The body of the bat is covered in long hairs, making the body seem almost woolly. The bat is reddish brown and has a yellowish white nape.[6] Its ears are small and pointed, and are difficult to see beneath its thick fur. Its flight membranes are dark brown in color.[2]

Biology and ecology

It is mostly frugivorous, consuming the fruits of at least 53 plant species; the flowers of 20 plant species; the leaves of 18 plant species; and the bark of one plant species.[7] It has also been observed consuming eight different species of insect.[8] The Chinese banyan tree is an important source of food year-round.[7] It is an important pollinator of a subspecies of Schima wallichii, an evergreen tree. It also pollinates a species of climbing vine, Mucuna macrocarpa. It is a nocturnal species, usually solitary roosting in trees during the day and foraging at night. The Ryukyu flying fox enhances seed dispersal, as seeds from digested fruits are deposited as guano up to 1,833 m (1.139 mi) from the parent trees.[4]

Distribution and habitat

The Ryukyu flying fox is native to Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. In Japan it is found on the Ōsumi Islands, Tokara Islands, Okinawa Islands, Miyako Islands, Yaeyama Islands and Daitō Islands. In the Philippines it is present in Batan, Dalupiri and Fuga. Its habitat is forests where it roosts during the day in trees, singly or in small groups.[1]


The largest population of these bats is probably on the Philippines and is thought to be stable. In Japan there are estimated to be well over five thousand individuals but in Taiwan, there has been a large reduction in bat numbers. This species faces a number of threats. Some populations in the Philippines are hunted for consumption and this bat is considered a delicacy on Babuyan Claro. In Japan, habitat loss is the main threat but some individuals get entangled in nets placed to protect citrus crops and others are electrocuted by power-lines. Overall, most populations have been in decline though this seemed to have levelled off to some extent by 2008 when the IUCN removed this bat from the "Endangered" category and placed it in the "Vulnerable" category.[1]

Relationship to humans

In Temminck's initial description, he wrote that it "devastates" orchards.[2] Its depredation on orchards caused Okinawa Prefecture to launch an investigation in 2012. In two villages surveyed in 2013, it was estimated that flying foxes cause 19 million yen ($175 thousand USD) in damages to citrus crops annually. Many Japanese farmers believe that the Ryukyu flying fox is a pest that should be managed by culling.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Vincenot, C. (2017). "Pteropus dasymallus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T18722A22080614. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T18722A22080614.en. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Temminck, C.J. (1825). "Cinquième Monographie. Vues générales sur l'ordre des cheiroptères". Monographies de Mammalogie, ou description de quelques genres de Mammifères, dont les espèces ont été observées dans les différens musées de l'Europe. 1. Paris: G. Dufour et E. d'Ocagne. pp. 180–181, pl. XX–XVI.
  3. ^ "Pteropus dasymallus Temminck, 1825". ITIS Report. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Nakamoto, Atsushi; Kinjo, Kazumitsu; Izawa, Masako (2008). "The role of Orii's flying-fox (Pteropus dasymallus inopinatus) as a pollinator and a seed disperser on Okinawa-jima Island, the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan" (PDF). Ecological Research. 24 (2): 405–414. doi:10.1007/s11284-008-0516-y.
  5. ^ a b Vincenot, Christian Ernest; Collazo, Anja Maria; Wallmo, Kristy; Koyama, Lina (2015). "Public awareness and perceptual factors in the conservation of elusive species: The case of the endangered Ryukyu flying fox" (PDF). Global Ecology and Conservation. 3: 526–540. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2015.02.005.
  6. ^ Andrew T. Smith; Yan Xie; Robert S. Hoffmann; Darrin Lunde; John MacKinnon; Don E. Wilson; W. Chris Wozencraft, eds. (2010). A Guide to the Mammals of China (illustrated ed.). Princeton University Press. p. 332. ISBN 9781400834112.
  7. ^ a b Nakamoto, Atsushi; Kinjo, Kazumitsu; Izawa, Masako (2007). "Food habits of Orii's flying-fox, Pteropus dasymallus inopinatus, in relation to food availability in an urban area of Okinawa-jima Island, the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan". Acta Chiropterologica. 9: 237. doi:10.3161/1733-5329(2007)9[237:FHOOFP]2.0.CO;2.
  8. ^ Funakoshi, K; Watanabe, H; Kunisaki, T (1993). "Feeding ecology of the northern Ryukyu fruit bat, Pteropus dasymallus dasymallus, in a warm-temperate region". Journal of Zoology. 230 (2): 221. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1993.tb02684.x.

Acerodon is a genus of bats in the family Pteropodidae containing five species, all native to forests in Southeast Asia, and all considered threatened. They are closely related to Pteropus.

Bonin flying fox

The Bonin flying fox, Bonin fruit bat (Pteropus pselaphon), or in Japanese Ogasawara giant bat (オガサワラオオコウモリ, Ogasawara ōkōmori) is a species of flying fox in the family Pteropodidae. It is endemic to four islands (Chichijima, Hahajima, North Iwo Jima, and South Iwo Jima) in Ogasawara Islands, Japan. Its natural habitat is subtropical forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.


Dobsonia is a genus of megabat in the family Pteropodidae.

It contains the following 13 species:Genus Dobsonia

Andersen's naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia anderseni

Beaufort's naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia beauforti

Philippine bare-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia chapmani

Halmahera naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia crenulata

Biak naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia emersa

Sulawesi naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia exoleta

Solomon's naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia inermis

New Guinea naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia magna

Lesser naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia minor

Moluccan naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia moluccensis

Panniet naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia pannietensis (including subspecies D. pannietensis remota which is sometimes referred to as D. remota)

Western naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia peroni

New Britain naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia praedatrix

Greenish naked-backed fruit bat, Dobsonia viridis


Dyacopterus is a genus of megabats from south-east Asia. It contains three species, namely:

Dayak fruit bat, Dyacopterus spadiceus

Brooks's dyak fruit bat, Dyacopterus brooksi

Rickart's dyak fruit bat, Dyacopterus rickarti

Eidolon (genus)

Eidolon is a genus of megabats in the family Pteropodidae. It contains two species:

Madagascan fruit bat, Eidolon dupreanum

Straw-coloured fruit bat, Eidolon helvum


Eonycteris is a genus of megabats found in Asia. Species within this genus are:

Greater nectar bat, Eonycteris major

Cave nectar bat, Eonycteris spelaea

Philippine dawn bat, Eonycteris robusta


Epomops is a genus of bat in the family Pteropodidae.

It contains the following species:

Buettikofer's epauletted fruit bat, Epomops buettikoferi

Dobson's epauletted fruit bat, Epomops dobsoni

Franquet's epauletted fruit bat, Epomops franqueti


Harpyionycteris is a genus of megabat in the family Pteropodidae.

It contains the following species:

Genus Harpyionycteris

Harpy fruit bat, Harpyionycteris whiteheadi

Sulawesi harpy fruit bat, Harpyionycteris celebensis

Macroglossini (Chiroptera)

The megabat tribe Macroglossini is within the subfamily Pteropodinae

Tribe Macroglossini

Genus Macroglossus - long-tongued fruit bats

Long-tongued nectar bat, Macroglossus minimus

Long-tongued fruit bat, Macroglossus sobrinus

Genus Melonycteris

Fardoulis's blossom bat, Melonycteris fardoulisi

Black-bellied fruit bat, Melonycteris melanops

Woodford's fruit bat, Melonycteris woodfordi

Genus Notopteris - long-tailed fruit bats

Long-tailed fruit bat, Notopteris macdonaldi (Fiji and Vanuatu)

New Caledonia blossom bat, Notopteris neocaledonica (New Caledonia)

Genus Syconycteris - blossom bats

Common blossom bat, Syconycteris australis

Halmahera blossom bat, Syconycteris carolinae

Moss-forest blossom bat, Syconycteris hobbit


Macroglossus is a genus of megabats (family Pteropodidae) found in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. It has two species:

Long-tongued nectar bat, Macroglossus minimus

Long-tongued fruit bat, Macroglossus sobrinus


Megaerops is a genus of megabat.It includes the following species:

Tailless fruit bat (Megaerops ecaudatus)

Javan tailless fruit bat (Megaerops kusnotoi)

Ratanaworabhan's fruit bat (Megaerops niphanae)

White-collared fruit bat (Megaerops wetmorei)


Megaloglossus is a genus of bats in the family Pteropodidae. It is native to Africa. It contains two species, Megaloglossus azagnyi and Megaloglossus woermanni. Prior to 2012, it was considered a monotypic genus. In 2012, however, M. woermanni was split into two species with the description of M. azagnyi. It was described as a new species in 2012.


Micropteropus is a genus of bat in the family Pteropodidae.

It contains the following species:

Hayman's dwarf epauletted fruit bat, Micropteropus intermedius

Peters's dwarf epauletted fruit bat, Micropteropus pusillus


Myonycteris is a genus of bat in the family Pteropodidae.

It contains the following species:Genus Myonycteris

São Tomé collared fruit bat, Myonycteris brachycephala

East African little collared fruit bat, Myonycteris relicta

Little collared fruit bat, Myonycteris torquata


Paranyctimene is a genus of bats in the family Pteropodidae. They are distributed in Indonesia


Pteralopex is a genus of large megabats in the family Pteropodidae. They are restricted to Solomon Islands rain forests in Melanesia, and all species are seriously threatened, being rated as either endangered or critically endangered by IUCN. Two species, P. taki and P. flanneryi, have been described since 2000.


The Pteropodinae are a subfamily of megabats. Taxa within this subfamily are:

Genus Acerodon

Sulawesi flying fox, A. celebensis

Talaud flying fox, A. humilis

Giant golden-crowned flying fox, A. jubatus

Palawan fruit bat, A. leucotis

Sunda flying fox, A. mackloti

Genus Desmalopex

White-winged flying fox, D. leucopterus

Small white-winged flying fox, D. microleucopterus

Genus Eidolon — straw-coloured fruit bats

Madagascan fruit bat, E. dupreanum

Straw-coloured fruit bat, E. helvum

Genus Mirimiri

Fijian monkey-faced bat, M. acrodonta

Genus Neopteryx

Small-toothed fruit bat, N. frosti

Genus Pteralopex

Bougainville monkey-faced bat, P. anceps

Guadalcanal monkey-faced bat, P. atrata

Greater monkey-faced bat, P. flanneryi

Montane monkey-faced bat, P. pulchra

New Georgian monkey-faced bat, P. taki

Genus Pteropus — flying foxes

P. alecto species group

Black flying fox, P. alecto

P. caniceps species group

Ashy-headed flying fox, P. caniceps

P. chrysoproctus species group

Silvery flying fox, P. argentatus

Moluccan flying fox, P. chrysoproctus

Makira flying fox, P. cognatus

Banks flying fox, P. fundatus

Solomons flying fox, P. rayneri

Rennell flying fox, P. rennelli

P. conspicillatus species group

Spectacled flying fox, P. conspicillatus

Ceram fruit bat, P. ocularis

P. livingstonii species group

Aru flying fox, P. aruensis

Kei flying fox, P. keyensis

Livingstone's fruit bat, P. livingstonii

Black-bearded flying fox, P. melanopogon

P. mariannus species group

Okinawa flying fox, P. loochoensis

Mariana fruit bat, P. mariannus

Pelew flying fox, P. pelewensis

Kosrae flying fox, P. ualanus

Yap flying fox, P. yapensis

P. melanotus species group

Black-eared flying fox, P. melanotus

P. molossinus species group

Lombok flying fox, P. lombocensis

Caroline flying fox, P. molossinus

Rodrigues flying fox, P. rodricensis

P. neohibernicus species group

Great flying fox, P. neohibernicus

P. niger species group

Aldabra flying fox, P. aldabrensis

Mauritian flying fox, P. niger

Madagascan flying fox, P. rufus

Seychelles fruit bat, P. seychellensis

Pemba flying fox, P. voeltzkowi

P. personatus species group

Bismark masked flying fox, P. capistratus

Masked flying fox, Pteropus personatus

Temminck's flying fox, P. temminckii

P. poliocephalus species group

Big-eared flying fox, P. macrotis

Geelvink Bay flying fox, P. pohlei

Grey-headed flying fox, P. poliocephalus

P. pselaphon species group

Chuuk flying fox, P. insularis

Temotu flying fox, P. nitendiensis

Large Palau flying fox, P. pilosus (19th century †)

Bonin flying fox, P. pselaphon

Guam flying fox, P. tokudae (1970s †)

Insular flying fox, P. tonganus

Vanikoro flying fox, P. tuberculatus

New Caledonia flying fox, P. vetulus

P. samoensis species group

Vanuatu flying fox, P. anetianus

Samoa flying fox, P. samoensis

P. scapulatus species group

Gilliard's flying fox, P. gilliardorum

Lesser flying fox, P. mahaganus

Little red flying fox, P. scapulatus

Dwarf flying fox, P. woodfordi

P. subniger species group

Admiralty flying fox, P. admiralitatum

Dusky flying fox, P. brunneus (19th century †)

Ryukyu flying fox, P. dasymallus

Nicobar flying fox, P. faunulus

Gray flying fox, P. griseus

Ontong Java flying fox, P. howensis

Small flying fox, P. hypomelanus

Ornate flying fox, P. ornatus

Little golden-mantled flying fox, P. pumilus

Philippine gray flying fox, P. speciosus

Small Mauritian flying fox, P. subniger (19th century †)

P. vampyrus species group

Indian flying fox, P. giganteus

Andersen's flying fox, P. intermedius

Lyle's flying fox, P. lylei

Large flying fox, P. vampyrus

incertae sedis

Small Samoan flying fox, P. allenorum (19th century †)

Large Samoan flying fox, P. (19th century †)

Small flying fox

The small flying fox, island flying fox or variable flying fox (Pteropus hypomelanus) is a species of flying fox in the family Pteropodidae. It is found in Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Extant species of family Pteropodidae


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