Skip to Content

Bats, Epauletted Fruit

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks
User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:29 pm
Location: Trying to get back on earth

Bats, Epauletted Fruit

Unread post by Elena » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:19 am

We saw plenty of them in Skukuza in December but they moved from the shop to the "fast-food" restaurant. Some of them had babies.
Here's a pic.

{Resized by BGS}

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1360
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Unread post by francoisd » Wed Feb 23, 2005 8:58 am

Confirmed with my wife last night. The "bat houses" we saw were in BnD

You can also find bats in Letaba camp. Close to reception there is an area with tables and chairs for the day visitors. Have a look in those "Palm trees" lift up some of the dry branches/leaves. We found many bats in there on previous visits
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall

Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2016)
Posts: 2690
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:20 pm
Location: 4 hours from KNP : South Africa

Bat Hotel

Unread post by Foxy » Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:45 pm

As far as I know the bats are good at keeping the mozzie population down as well.

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5002
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread post by wildtuinman » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:18 am

I have counted 6 bat boxes at BnD. I think that at this stage it is a still an investigating into bat behaviour and habits etc. Maybe some research specifically in the BnD camp is being done on bats. I have met a research team from overseas in Shingwedzi last year.

Don't be suprised if more or no other hotels springs up in other camps. Researchers don't interfere much with nature.

PS: Look under every thatch roof in the Park. They r swarmed with bats, especially Skukuza golf club.
Latest Lifer(s): Burchell's Courser, Cory's Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, European Storm-Petrel, Great Winged Petrel, Grey Waxbill, Cape Rock-jumper

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1360
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Bats: Fruit Bats

Unread post by francoisd » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:26 am

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.

Length (including tail) (m) 15 cm, (f) 12 cm; wingspan 56 cm; mass (m) 105 g, (f) 76 g.

Usually brownish buff, sometimes pale buff, the underparts being lighter in colour.
There are white patches at the base of the ears, and the male has white 'epaulettes' on the shoulders.

Most like
Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat.
The only way to separate the two species is to examine their skulls.
Peters' has two ridges across the palate behind the last molar teeth, while Wahlberg's has only one.

Evergreen forests and riverine woodland, always in association with fruit-bearing trees.

Walberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat (Epomophorus wahlbergi)

Scientific Name:
Epomophorus wahlbergi
Common Name:
Walberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat
These bats are grayish brown, russet, or tawny in color.
Air sacks are present on the necks of males.
These sacks are used in food collection, and may aid in creating a megaphone effect of the calls used by males to attract females during courtship.
The males have shoulder epaulets that are used in courtship displays.
White spots of fur are located at the top part of the base of the ear in both sexes.
Scent glands are located at the places where the white ear spots and shoulder epaulets are found.
The ear is simple and oval, forming an unbroken ring, with no tragus.
These bats do not have a nose leaf.
They are strong fliers, and travel as far as ten kilometers to find food.
Their eyes are very large. Sight, as well as smell, are what these bats use most often to locate their surroundings.
Their jaws are strong, and their teeth are adapted to a fruit diet.
Distribution: The Walberg's epauletted fruit bat can be found in Africa, anywhere south of the Sahara desert.
These bats live in woodland and savannah areas, and prefer the edges of forests.
During the summer, they migrate in large numbers to Tzaneen, in the Zoutpansberg district of South Africa, attracted by the ripening crop of guavas.
The total body length is between 125mm and 250mm long, and the wing span in males is about 508mm.
40 to 120 g
During the day, they live in hollow trees, underneath large leaves, and beneath the eaves of buildings.
They often roost where there in considerable light.
Every few days, they will move to a new roosting site.
They roost in small groups containing mixed ages of males and females, the size of which range from three to one hundred individuals.
They often choose the same spot to roost, at certain times of the year, for many consecutive years.
While hanging from their feet in their roosts, they will isolate themselves from their neighbors by short distances.
While roosting, they remain relatively quiet, and do not move very much.
They make it a point to not intrude on each others space.
Once the fruit ripens, they group together in the tree for several nights, and eat the ripened fruit.
They often completely strip the tree of all of its fruit.
These bats are active mostly in the evening and at night, but have been observed flying in the daytime.
Main feeding time:
Gestation lasts from five to six months.
Number of young at birth: Young are born singly, in most cases, but twins are occasionally seen
These bats are frugivorous.
They chew the fruit, swallow the juice, and spit out most of the pulp and seeds.
They swallow some of the softer pulp, and some of the seeds.
They also chew flowers to get the nectar and juices.
They feed on figs, mangoes, guavas, bananas, peaches, apples, papayas, and small berries.
The smell of ripening fruit is what attracts them to their food source.
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall

User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Welties

More information on Bats with transmitters

Unread post by DavenJan » Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:46 am

While visiting Skukuza last weekend we spotted a bat at rest under the lapa outside the cafeteria with some sort of transmitter and ariel attached to it.
Could someone from KNPO please give more information on this. Is there reserch taking place?

User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1372
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:51 am
Location: In a very busy place

Unread post by Wild@Heart » Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:34 pm

Hi DavenJan,

Herewith the info as promised. Thank you KNPS ... Also follow the link for more info

KNP Spokesman - Edited by Wild@Heart wrote:For all scientific projects conducted in the KNP, click on this topic - which by the way can be found on, click on Scientific Services and a whole world will be opened to you ... :Current_Projects_2005 and it gives you a list of the current projects.

Another link (go back one) gives you a look at previous projects. You will see that not all the projects are being done by SANParks staff and scientists, as in this case.

Here is the info listed.

Research project: Movements and feeding behavior of Epauletted fruit bats and their impact on the regeneration of fig trees

Aim/method: To locate and monitor roosts of epauletted fruit bats; and to determine home range, and spatiotemporal patterns of foraging by radio-collared bats.

Project end date: 31-12-2006

Project status: Current

Hope this helps ...

Kind regards

KNP Spokesman


Unread post by Jumbo » Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:15 am

I took these photos last night….are these Peters' Epauletted Fruit Bats? The photos are not wonderful but it does seem as though they have a white patch at the base of the ear. :?


{Resized by BGS}

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 884
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:10 pm
Location: Golden Mile,West Coast, CFG

Unread post by Jay » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:42 pm

1/4 of the 950 bat species on the planet are listed as endangered or threatened.
Bats are what is known as a keystone species iow, if they are negatively affected it has a domino effect. They pollinate flowers, spread seeds( excrete undigested seeds) and keep pests e.g. mosqitoes in check, all very important ecological services.
Unfortunately they are vulnerable as they reproduce slowly.

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1848
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread post by Wild about cats » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:10 pm

Seen at Mooiplaas

{Resized by BGS}
Back to Letaba in April, July and September

Birding Weekend 2014 - Satara 3

Exploring Letaba - '13-'14

Letaba Ladies, 3rd Edition - '14 - '15

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 1:43 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread post by deefstes » Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:38 pm

Jose wrote:Hm... hard to tell. Could be Wahlberg's epauletted fruit bats too? :?

I would love to find out more about this but someone once told me that the only way of positively seperating Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat from Peter's Epauletted Fruit Bat is by counting the ridges on the palate (roof of the mouth). How crazy is that!?!?!

User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2477
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Unread post by Batmad » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:14 pm

if you ever do handle bats you are supposed to wear gloves that will lesson the force of impact from the bats jaws! only people that have permits are supposed to hold wild bats. not to say that bats bite hard some bats such as the banana bat dont even try to bite you as there jaws are to small. please i am asking you guys not to handle bats and leave it to the experts i am saying this for your safty!!!! 8)

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5002
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Unread post by wildtuinman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:31 am

It would be difficult to differentiate between the Wahlberg's and the Peter's based on a picture alone.

Unless you took a picture of the bats under the lapa at the Skukuza restaurant as they are Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bats.

For interest sake: To differentiate Wahlberg’s from Peter’s one will have to count the ridges across the palate behind the last molar teeth. Wahlberg's has only one, Peter’s, two.

User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1657
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:40 pm
Location: At work

Unread post by restio » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:35 pm

What about this cutie, Batmad?

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2477
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Looking for Bats...

Unread post by Batmad » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:49 pm

walhbergs Eppulated Fruit Bat (epomophrus walhbergi)

i am busy studying these bats at the moment, they are truly stunning. ok, the fruit bat order (petropodidae) consists of 9 members. walhbergs one of them. fruit bats have a very distinct muzzle almost like a dog. there big beady eyes help them look for fruit. fruit bats do not have echolocation besides one species (Rousetes agyptiaca) egyption fruit bat, this species does not really use its echolocation a lot as it has big eyes.

Walhbergs Eppulated Fruit Bat

habitat: riverine forest and bushveld

habits: gregorious, sometimes roosting in colonies sometimes by themselves.

Food: fruit and the nector of some flowers.
they give birth throughout the year.

day roost: tall trees with cover, but occasionally under the thatch of houses.

ps. sciantific names might not be spelled propaley :redface:

reproduction: one maybe two pups at a time,
Avid birder, wildlife enthusiast and photographer with a special interest in Bats and Birds

2014 Birding Big Year- A 365 Day quest for 800 Species of Southern African Birds

Return to “Mammals”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Webcam Highlights

Submitted by SYLVIAC at 19:45:15
Submitted by romanera at 21:52:28
Submitted by Warzi!?16 at 20:21:54
Submitted by EElse at 18:33:28