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Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) Fact Sheet: Summary

Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis)

Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) Fact Sheet

Rodrigues fruit bat hanging

Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis)

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.


Taxonomy Physical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Chiroptera

Family: Pteropodidae ("flying foxes," Old World fruit bats)

Genus: Pteropus - flying foxes

Species: Pteropus rodricensis - Rodrigues fruit bat, Rodrigues flying fox

Body Weight
254-300 g (0.6-0.7 lb)

Body Length
about 35 cm (13-14 in)

75-90 cm (30-35 in)

Wooly fur; golden fur on head, neck, shoulders, and sometimes back. Dark brown fur elsewhere. Black wings (not furred).

Distribution & Status Behavior & Ecology

Rodrigues Island (Indian Ocean; a possession of Mauritius, which is east of Madagascar)

Forested areas.
Most of Rodrigues Island's endemic forest is gone.

IUCN Status
Endangered (2016 assessment)

CITES Status
Appendix II

Other Designations
Recognized as Endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Population in Wild
Many changes in populations since the 1970s.
Possibly 4,000 individuals, ca. 2003.

Flying, climbing

Activity Cycle
Most active at dawn, dusk, and at night.

Social Groups
Strongly colonial and gregarious. Males defend harems of females.

Fruits and flowers, like all Pteropus species.
Historically, tamarind pods and mangos were favored foods (humans cut these trees down).
Some reports of eating insects.

Rats and mynah birds. May not be well documented.

Reproduction & Development Species Highlights

Sexual Maturity
1-2 years of age

140-192 days for Pteropus species

Litter Size
Usually one, occasionally two

Interbirth Interval
180-360 days

Birth Weight
45 g (1.6 oz), on average

Maternal Care
Lasts about one year

Typical Life Expectancy
Wild populations: not reported
Managed care: median life expectancy is about 13–17 years

Feature Facts

  • Largest bat species in the world
  • Native to Rodrigues Island, east of Madagascar
  • About 80% of the population is part of a single colony at three roost sites
  • Lack complex echolocation; navigate using vision, hearing, and smell
  • Serve as vital pollinators and seed dispersers
  • Exhibit a "wing shake" behavior as an aggressive display
  • Deforestation and mortality due to cyclones are most significant threats
  • Fruit bat pup born by C-section at San Diego Safari Park in Jan 2017

About This Fact Sheet

© 2010-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Population estimates and IUCN Status updated Feb 2019. Husbandry information updated Mar 2019.


How to cite: Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) Fact Sheet. c2010-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. rodriguesfruitbat
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)


Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to


Thank you to Todd Ryan for sharing his knowledge of bat husbandry for the Managed Care section of this fact sheet.

Todd Ryan, Senior Keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, has provided care for Rodrigues Fruit Bats since the Nairobi Village Bat House opened in 2011. He has worked as a wildlife care specialist at the Safari Park for 12 years and previously worked in animal care at SeaWorld San Diego for 10 years. Mr. Ryan is part of the team that cares for the mammals of Nairobi Village.

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