Black flying fox

Pteropus alecto

The Black Flying-fox is the largest species of flying-fox in Australia. It is found in tropical and subtropical forests and woodlands across northern and eastern Australia.

The Black Flying-fox roosts in large numbers high in the tree canopy during the day and may travel over 50 kilometres from their camp to a feeding area at night. It feeds on blossom and fruits, and return to their roost at dawn.  It is migratory and can fly at 35 – 40 kilometres per hour.

Females give birth to one pup around late September to December. The pup clings to mums teat located in her wing pit with special curved milk teeth, and grip her fur with its strong claws for the first four weeks. As the pup grows larger, it becomes too heavy to carry when she flies out at night to feed; it is then left behind with other pups in a special ‘crèche’ in the maternity camp.

At 2-3 months, the young can fly and they will start to leave the camp at night to feed. They are weaned at about 5 months, and become sexually mature at about 2 years old.