English Filipino French German Italian Portuguese Spanish About this Translator
Home / Media & Info / BATS Archives / On the Cover
BATS Magazine

VOLUME 15, NO. 1 Spring 1997

On the Cover

Epauleted bats (Epomophorus sp.) are often found roosting along the branches of mango, palm, or other thick-foliaged trees in Africa. They are known to congregate in groups of up to 150, but they also roost alone or in smaller groups. These bats inhabit a wide swath across the central region of Africa, and they depend on a large variety of native plants for their fruit and nectar diet.

The name “epauleted bat” is derived from the retractable patches of fur on the shoulders of the males. These patches are used solely for sexual attraction and are otherwise retracted into shoulder pouches. During courtship, glands in the pouches are believed to secrete attractive odors, which the male’s long epaulet hairs and beating wings help waft to cruising females. At the same time, the male bat emits loud and rapid honking noises, audible for 200 yards or more. Males sometimes maintain this demanding courting dance for many hours, competing with each other for female attention.

Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle

Top of page View as PDF
All articles in this issue:
On the Cover
Members's Commemorative: 15 Years of Learning and Teaching about Bats
Livingstone's Flying Fox, I Presume?
Tracking Bats at Ankarana
Murcielagos de Nuevo Leon
Bats and Forest Conservation in Venezuela
In Tribute: Ruth E. Adomeit
Wish List
Look for "Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats"* at these locations:
A Matching Gift Multiplies Your Conservation Investment
Members-Only Nights at Bracken Cave

Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International