At the roost, the dominant male Common Fruit Bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) is constantly on the lookout for females in oestrus (above). He will move from one female to another with outstretched wings, regularly flapping them vigorously. Most of the time the female that is being courted hangs from the roost quietly with wings wrapped tightly round her body. Only once in a long while will she groom herself.
The male remains in front of the female for as long as 20-30 minutes before moving to the next female.
This happens as long as the harem is intact with the two spotlights switched on – from around 18:45 hours to well past midnight. I have yet to monitor the situation after midnight.
Most nights the dominant male encounters no success as the females are probably not in oestrus. There have been a few cases when the male misread the female’s condition and tries to grab her. The female will rebuff him the moment he touches her.
There have been instances when he grabs her from the front, in which case the female will struggle vigorously to escape his grip. In the process both will launch off from the roost, sometimes with shrill cries.