Bats in my porch: 18. Adult females and their pups

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It was a normal evening in the colony of Common Fruit Bats (Cynopterus brachyotis) roosting in the porch. The alpha male was doing his usual rounds checking on his females. There were two females, each suckling a pup, hanging some distance from each other.

One female was making jerking movements with her limbs as if to dislodge the pup from her nipple. After much jerking she managed to free herself and flew off (above and video).

The pup was left hanging alone (above). Soon the female returned and the pup immediately moved forward and grabbed her. The female jerked her limbs but failed to dislodge her pup. There was some struggle before the female finally freed herself and flew off. The pup was left alone a second time.

Can it be that the female was weaning off the pup? After all the latter was big enough and capable of flying as shown subsequently.

The pup crawled around before being chased off the roost by another female. Soon the pup flew back and approached a female that was being courted by the alpha male. Apparently this female was suckling a pup and was obviously a different female that was suckling it earlier.

Three times the pup approached this female suckling a pup and three times it was pushed off. Then the biological mother flew in, approached her pup and they were reunited.

This incident is interesting as it showed a pup failing to recognise its biological mother but the mother herself had no trouble locating her pup.

YC Wee
Singapore
October 2014

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