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Species Guide: Urban Mammals

Urban Mammals: Bats

Written by Syuhada Sapno
Photos by Syuhada Sapno

Lesser short-nosed fruit bat, Cecadu pisang
Cynopterus brachyotis

It has a dog-like face with large eyes, and brown fur. Males have a distinct dark orange collar whereas females are yellowish. It primarily feeds on fruits by sucking out the juices and soft pulp. It spits out seeds and fibrous matter in a flat and oval-shaped pellet. The lesser short-nosed fruit bat feeds on fruits such as mangoes, bananas and durian.

Lesser Asiatic yellow bat, Kelawar rumah
Scotophilus kuhlii

The difference between this species and the lesser short-nosed fruit bat is that this one has a blunt muzzle whereas the fruit bat has a slightly pointed snout. Its fur is yellowish to light brown in colour. It is well-adapted to urban spaces.

Local name: Cecadu pisang

Activity pattern: Nocturnal

Ecological function: Seed disperser, pollinator

Level in food chain: Primary and secondary consumer

Feeding behaviour:  Omnivore

Food items: Small fruits, figs, nectar

Microhabitat: Normally roosts at ceilings of homes. You can identify a roosting site by looking for droppings they leave behind. In the wild, they roost on the underside of a broad leaf such as banana leaf.

Local name: Kelawar rumah

Activity pattern: Nocturnal

Ecological function: Prey-predator relationship

Level in food chain: Secondary consumer

Feeding behaviour: Insectivore

Food items: Insects like bees, wasps, flies, beetles, moths

Microhabitat: Roosts in groups in hollow trees, attics, abandoned buildings