Foraging of the Indian Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx on banana in shops and on the pieces dropped by monkeys at a temple

Main Article Content

A. Rathinakumar
S. Baskaran
G. Marimuthu


The Indian Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx fed on the pieces of banana fruit that were dropped by monkeys on the tower of a temple and in nearby shops.  The monkeys obtained fruits from devotees and shop owners.  The peak number of bat visits occurred during pre- and post- midnight hours at the tower and shops, respectively, coinciding with the lights off situation and reduced human disturbance.  The bats landed on bunches of ripe bananas hanging in the front of shops.  The number of bat landings on the tower was greater than that in the shops.  The overall number of bat visits were higher during October when compared to other periods of the year.  This may be due to the occurrence of more festivals during October.  Our study is an example of opportunistic feeding, in which banana pieces dropped while monkeys were feeding on them were eaten by the bats.

Article Details

Short Communications
Author Biographies

A. Rathinakumar, Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625021, India

Senior Research Fellow

Department of Animal Behaviour & Physiology

School of Biological Sciences


S. Baskaran, Department of Biology, Gandhigram Rural Institute - Deemed University, Gandhigram, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu 624302, India

Assistant Professor 

Department of Biology

G. Marimuthu, Department of Animal Behaviour and Physiology, School of Biological Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625021, India

INSA Senior Scientist

Department of Animal Behaviour & Physiology

School of Biological Sciences




Acharya, K.K., A. Roy & A. Krishna (1998). Relative role of olfactory cues and certain non-olfactory factors in foraging of fruit-eating bats. Behavioural Process 44(1): 59– 64;

Aziz, S.A., K.J. Olival, S. Bumrungsri, G.C. Richards & P.A. Racey (2016). The conflict between fruit bats and fruit growers: species, legislation and mitigation, pp. 377–426. In: Voigt, C.C. & T. Kingston (eds.). Bats in the Anthropocene - Conservation of Bats in A Changing World;

Balasingh, J., J. Koilraj & T.H. Kunz (1995). Tent construction by the Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) in southern India. Ethology 100(3): 210–229;

Bates, P.J.J. & D.L. Harrison (1997). Bats of the Indian Subcontinent. Harrison Zoological Museum, publications, 18–22pp.

Ditchkoff, S.S., S.T. Saalfeld & C. J. Gibson (2006). Animal

behavior in urban ecosystems: modifications due to human induced stress. Urban Ecosystem 9(1): 5–12;

Dowding, C.V., S. Harris, S. Poulton & P.J. Baker (2010). Nocturnal ranging behaviour of urban hedgehogs, Erinaceuseuropaeus, in relation to risk and reward. Animal Behaviour 80(1): 13–21;

Dumont, E.R. (2003). Bats and fruit: an ecomorphological approach, pp. 398–429. In: Kunz, T.H. & B. Fenton (eds.). Bat Ecology. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Elangovan, V., G. Marimuthu & T.H. Kunz (1999). Temporal patterns of individual and group foraging behaviour in the short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx in south India. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15(5): 681–687

Elangovan, V., G. Marimuthu & T.H. Kunz (2001). Temporal patterns of resource use by the Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Cynopterus sphinx (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae). Journal of Mammalogy 82(1): 161–165;


Erinjery, J.J., T. Kavana & M. Singh (2015). Food resources, distribution and seasonal variations in ranging in Lion-tailed Macaques, Macaca silenus in the Western Ghats, India. Primates 56(1): 45–54;

Fenton, M.B. & G.K. Morris (1976). Opportunistic feeding by desert bats (Myotis spp.). Canadian Journal of Zoology 54(4): 526–530.

Fisher, H.S., B.B. Wong & G.G. Rosenthal (2006). Alteration of the chemical environment disrupts communication in a freshwater fish. Proceedings of Royal Society of London B273(1591): 1187–1193;

Gopukumar, N., T. Karuppudurai, P. Nathan, K. Sripathi, G. Arivarignan & J. Balasingh (2005). Solitary adult males in a Polygynous-mating Bat (Cynopterus sphinx): a forced option or a strategy? Journal of Mammalogy 86(2): 281–286;

Haag-Wackernagel, D. (1995).Regulation of the street pigeon in Basel. Wild Life Society Bulletin 23(2): 256–260

Hölker, F., T. Moss, B. Griefahn, W. Kloas, C.C. Voigt, D. Henckel, A. Hänel, P.M. Kappeler, S. Völker, A. Schwope, S. Franke, D. Uhrlandt, J. Fischer, R. Klenke, C. Wolter & K. Tockner (2010). The dark side of light: a transdisciplinary research agenda for light pollution policy. Ecology and Society 15(4): 13

Luft, S., E. Curio & B. Tacud (2003). The use of olfaction in the foraging behaviour of the Golden-mantled Flying Fox, Pteropus pumilus, and the Greater Musky Fruit Bat, Ptenochirus jagori (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae). Naturwissenschaften 90(2): 84–87;

Marimuthu, G., K. Rajan, A.J. Koilraj, S.S. Isaac & J. Balasingh (1998). Observations on the foraging behavior of a tent roosting megachiropteran bat Cynopterus sphinx. Biotropica 30(2): 321–324;

Marshall, A.G. (1985). Old World phytophagous bats (Megachiroptera) and their food plants: a survey. Journal of Linnean Society 83(4): 351–369;

Mathivanan, M. (2013). Ancient structures offer a last refuge for bats in India. Bats 31(3): 11–12, Fall.

Mccleery, R.A. (2009). Changes in fox squirrel anti-predator behaviors across the urban-rural gradient. Landscape Ecology 24(4): 483–493;

Nathan, P.T., T. Karuppudurai, H. Raghuram & G. Marimuthu (2009). Bat foraging strategies and pollination of Madhuca latifolia (Sapotaceae) in southern India. Acta chiropterologica 11(1): 435–44;

Rodewald, A.D., L.J. Kearns & D.P. Shustack (2011). Anthropogenic resource subsidies decouple predator-prey relationships. Ecological Applications 21(3): 936–943;

Rodriguez-Prieto, I., E. Fernández-Juricic, J. Martín & Y. Regis (2009). Antipredator behavior in blackbirds: habituation complements risk allocation. Behavioural Ecology 20(2): 371–377;

Senthilkumar, K. (2014). Roost diversity and fidelity in megachiropteran bats (PhD Thesis). Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu, India.

Sih, A., M.C. Ferrari & D.J. Harris (2011). Evolution and behavioural responses to humanâ€induced rapid environmental change. Evolutionary Applications 4(2): 367–387;

Singaravelan, N. & G. Marimuthu (2004). Nectar feeding and pollen carrying from Ceiba pentandra by pteropodid bats. Journal of Mammalogy 85(4): 1–7;;2

Singaravelan, N. & G. Marimuthu (2006). Muntingia calabura - an attractive food plant of Cynopterus sphinx-deserves planting to lessen orchard damage. Acta Chiropterologica 8(1): 239–245;

Singaravelan, N. & G. Marimuthu (2008). In situ feeding tactics of Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx on mango fruits: evidence of extractive foraging in a flying mammal. Journal of Ethology 26(2): 1–7;

Singh, M., J.J. Erinjery, T.S. Kavana, K. Roy & M. Singh (2011). Drastic population decline and conservation prospects of roadside Dark-bellied Bonnet Macaques (Macaca radiata radiata) of southern India. Primates 52(2): 149–154;

Slabbekoorn, H. (2013). Songs of the city: noise-dependent spectral plasticity in the acoustic phenotype of urban birds. Animal Behaviour 85(5): 1089–1099;

von Helversen & Y. Winter (2003). Glossophagine bats and their flowers. Costs and benefits for plants and pollinator,†pp. 346–397. In: Kunz, T.H. & B. Fenton (eds.). Bat Ecology. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Most read articles by the same author(s)