Macroglossus minimus. Populations can be found in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Sumatra and Java, as well as the islands of Sipora, Sibnerut, Mentawei, Nias, and Krakatoa. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Wilson and Reeder, 1993)is found in the southerneastern Palearctic and throughout the Oriental region along with its sister taxon
In Malaysia, greater long-tongued fruit bats occupy a variety of habitats, including mangrove swamps, montane forests, and lowland forests. When range overlaps occur between Macroglossus minimus, it appears that M. minimus is restricted to coastal mangrove swamps while is found in montane and lowland forests. A separate study in Thailand found the species in evergreen forests below 1918 m, where pollen is available year round. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)and
- Range elevation
- 0 to 1918 m
- 0.00 to 6292.65 ft
Greater long-tongued fruit bats have slender, delicate skulls with long rostra. Length of skull is at least 30 mm. The skull has a low occipital crest, a palate ending beyond the last molar, and weakly developed postorbital processes. The braincase is deflected downward. Males have larger skulls than females. The mandible has low processes and is long and slender with a groove for the tongue at the front. The highly protrusible tongue has a feathery tip made of filiform papillae and is used in feeding on pollen. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)
Greater long-tongued fruit bats have reduced dentition: cheek teeth are narrow and low-crowned. All teeth are well spaced linearly along the jaw. The incisor tooth row is elliptical with a large gap between both the upper and lower incisors through which the tongue protrudes. The gap between the lower incisors is larger relative to the upper gap. The incisors are forward-sloping and small, and the canines are short and sharp. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)
Basal metabolic rate has not been documented, but in their close relative Macroglossus minimus, it falls around 0.88 and 1.48 cm^3 of oxygen/g/hr for lower range bats and highland bats, respectively. closely resemble Macroglossus minimus, but the paler under parts and longer muzzle are distinguishing characteristics of the former species. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Bonaccorso and McNab, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Range mass
- 18.5 to 23 g
- 0.65 to 0.81 oz
- Range length
- 78 to 89 mm
- 3.07 to 3.50 in
- Average length
- 82.5 mm
- 3.25 in
- Range wingspan
- 331 to 336 mm
- 13.03 to 13.23 in
- Average wingspan
- 330 mm
- 12.99 in
Little or no information exists on the mating systems of the species. However, male (Hosken, 1998)have smaller testes relative to other megachiropteran bats. Across species, testes size has a positive relationship with body size, but also correlates positively to group size, suggesting that members of this species do not live in large groups. Lower intraspecific sexual competition resulting from small or no group-living may be the cause of their reduced testes.
Greater long-tongued fruit bats probably breed year round. Other information on the reproduction of Macroglossus minimus is better known. Gestation time of that species in Malaysia ranges from 110 to 130 days, followed by a lactation period of 60 to 70 days. On average, the length between pregnancies ranges from 140 to 160 days, so that Macroglossus minimus likely produces 2 to 2.5 offspring per year. Like most other bats, they give birth to a single young. The degree of seasonality present in reproduction of M. minimus varies with location. For example, reproduction on the island of Maripipi was not seasonal, while 9 km away on Biliran reproduction was more synchronous. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)is either limited or not available. The closely related
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Breeding interval is not known.
- Breeding season
- Greater long-tongued fruit bats may breed throughout the year.
- Average number of offspring
Like all mammals, female greater long-tongued fruit bats invest heavily in young through gestation and lactation. Mothers sometimes forage with their young as well, perhaps indicating a learning period.
- Parental Investment
- post-independence association with parents
The estimated lifespan for ("Status of South Asian Chiroptera", 2002)is 4 to 6 years. The species has not been bred in captivity.
- Typical lifespan
- 4 to 6 years
- Typical lifespan
Greater long-tongued fruit bats typically forage alone, with pairs found rarely. Individuals tend to roost alone, although small groups are also found. In Malaysia, these groups ranged from 5 to 10 individuals, most commonly found in palm trees, roofs, and banana plants. Macroglossus minimus, are responsible for the first peak feeding activity by Chiroptera each night. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Gould, 1978), along with
Information on the behavior of Macroglossus minimus. During the day, when inactive, Macroglossus minimus of Papua New Guinea roost individually. They have home ranges of around 5.8 hectare with very little overlap. This, along with prominent sternal scent glands, suggests territoriality, although this has not been definitively shown. In addition, Macroglossus minimus engages in “probing forays," potentially to scout new habitat. When temperatures reach 11-29 degrees Celsius, Macroglossus minimus enter a torpid state, maintaining a body temperature of 2-5 degrees Celsius above the ambient temperature. (Bonaccorso and McNab, 1997; Winkelmann, et al., 2003)is scarce, but more research has been done on the behavior of its close relative,
- Range territory size
- 1 to 2 km^2
Home ranges are estimated to be around 1 to 2 km, although home range may be smaller in areas with higher densities of banana plants. (Bates and Harrison, 1997)
Communication and Perception
Like most members of Pteropodidae, greater long-tongued fruit bats do not use echolocation. These bats emit audible calls of less than 9 kHz with a duration of about 15 milliseconds and inter-call intervals around 128 milliseconds. occasionally emits double pulses or clicks. The purpose of these double pulses is not yet known. In stressful disturbance situations, these bats emit harsh broadband signals as distress calls. The call is a large series of clicks with duration greater than 100 milliseconds. (Funakoshi, et al., 1995)
- Communication Channels
The diet of the greater long-tongued fruit bats varies among localities, but it appears to consist primarily of pollen and nectar, although soft fruit may be taken as well. In Malaysia, Dubanga grandiflora flowers, and soft fruit. Start (1974) estimated that an adult could survive solely off two to three wild banana plants; due to the flowering habits of the banana, food would be available year-long. Generally, is considered a banana specialist, although secondary food sources are also used. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988; Winkelmann, et al., 2003)was found to feed on the pollen and nectar of three species of wild banana,
Greater long-tongued fruit bats move around 1 to 2 km per night while feeding, although this range may be significantly smaller in areas with higher densities of wild banana plants. It has been hypothesized (Gould, 1978) that individuals may follow set routes as they travel from plant to plant each night. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Gould, 1978; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988)
- Plant Foods
Predators specific to (Mickleburg, et al., 1992)are unknown, but Old World fruit bats generally have few predators. Snakes, birds of prey, and carnivorous mammals occasional prey on them. Of these, snakes are most common predators of bats in roosts. While predation influences behavior and feeding habits, it does not significantly affect population size.
- Anti-predator Adaptations
One of the major roles that Musa itinerans, an important pioneer species in the rain forests of southwestern China. A separate study found that serves an important role in the pollination of a wild banana, Musa acuminata. (Gould, 1978; Itino, et al., 1991)fills is that of a pollinator to a variety of ecologically important plant species. A study in 2002 found that serves as an effective pollinator for
- Ecosystem Impact
- Musa itinerans
- Musa acuminata
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Greater long-tongued fruit bats are primary pollinators of wild bananas, Musa acuminata. In addition to producing a widely-consumed fruit, the wild banana tree is also known as a pioneer species. It is useful in recolonizing depleted tropical forest. (Itino, et al., 1991; Liu, et al., 2002)
- Positive Impacts
- pollinates crops
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Greater long-tongued fruit bats have antigens for the Lyssavirus – a family of viruses containing rabies. It indicates that they may be carriers for the Lyssavirus, and could infect humans with rabies. Their large localized population density results in their being classified as vermin in India, although they do not harm people and are beneficial through pollination services. (Reynes, et al., 2004)
- Negative Impacts
- carries human disease
Macroglossus minimus, from the works of E. Geoffrey in 1810 until the more recent research done by Hill in 1983. Currently, a variety of different authors consider to be a distinct species, including Corbet and Hill (1992), Koopman (1993), Bates and Harrison (1997) and Simmons (2005). All Indian specimens are referred to by the subspecies name of Macroglossus sobrinus sobrinus. The species name is also synonymous with Macroglossus fraternus. The common name is variable, although most sources use either “hill long-tongued fruit bats” or “greater long-tongued fruit bats”. (Bates and Harrison, 1997; Lekagul and McNeely, 1988; Hutson, et al., 2008; Wilson and Reeder, 1993)was considered to be a subspecies of
Anthony Capizzo (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Erika Etnyre (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
- scent marks
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sound above the range of human hearing for either navigation or communication or both
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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