Red Fruit Bat, Stenoderma rufum

The red fruit bat (Stenoderma rufum), also known as the red fig-eating bat, is a species of leaf-nosed bat that is native to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It prefers a habitat within tropical or subtropical arid forests. There is little known about this species and most of the recorded information about this species has been gathered from a population in the Luquillo Mountains. It holds three subspecies, including Desmarest’s Red Fruit Bat.

The red fruit bat prefers to roost in the forest canopy and it moves frequently throughout its range. It is known for being relatively solitary. Pregnant females have been found in Puerto Rico during the months of January, March, June, July, and August, while milking mother bats have been found during the months of March, May, June, and July. This species is a fruit bat, although it is not thought to eat figs as its name suggests, preferring to consume fruit from sierra pam trees, bullet-wood, and trumpet trees.

The red fruit bat is threatened by human disturbances and natural disasters like hurricanes, but it is found in protected areas in its range. The red fruit bat can be found on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Vulnerable.”

Image Caption: Stenoderma rufum Desmarest, 1820 Red Fig-eating Bat or Murciélago Frutero Nativo. Credit: Wikipedia