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Mammals of Southern Africa

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A Guide to the: Peters' Epauletted Fruit Bat - Epomophorus crypturus

Peters' Epauletted Fruit Bats are a common species in part of the southern Africa subregion, including Mozambique, eastern Zaire, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria and parts of South Africa. They congregate in large colonies of up to hundreds of individuals and make a great deal of noise together, especially when returning after a night's foraging. They hang upside-down from the thinner branches of evergreen trees, whose thick foliage provides cover. As they jockey for position, interfering neighbours are slashed with wings and with the sharp claw at the end of the first digit or thumb on the leading edge of the wing. Eventually they all settle down, slightly spaced out from one another, and silence reigns for the day. The so-called epaulette on each shoulder of the males is a patch of white hairs covering a sunken glandular pouch. The hairs come into prominence when the pouches are turned outwards. This happens when the animal is under stress, when it vocalises, and possibly also when it is sexually stimulated. The male's call is a musical bark, usually uttered as it hangs in its accustomed position. These bats prefer soft, pulpy fruits. In their raids on cultivated crops, they ignore apples and pears, but eat peaches, figs, and similar juicy fruits. A single young is produced, which clings to one of its mother's nipples and is carried by her while she is feeding.

More facts about Peters' Epauletted Fruit Bats

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