Shocking Range of Flying Fox Sizes

The Shocking Range of Flying Fox Sizes (Chart Included) 2024

Last Updated on March 13, 2024 by themubbi63

Flying Fox Size

For all that its name includes the word ‘fox’ These animals aren’t foxes at all but very large bats. Belonging to the genus Pteropus, they’re part of the same category as fruit bats. They’re found all over Australia, south Asia, southeast Asia, eastern Africa and the tropical islands in those regions. There are dozens of species of flying fox but here are some of the most important ones.

The Shocking Range of Flying Fox Sizes (Chart Included) 2024
The Shocking Range of Flying Fox Sizes (Chart Included) 2024

Types of Flying Foxes with Sizes:

Large Flying Fox Size

One of the largest species of bat, the large flying fox can reach lengths of 11 – 13 inches (27 – 32 cm). With wingspans of 4.9 feet or 150 cm and weighing around 1.4 – 2.4 lb, these bats fall under the category of megabats. They’re also called the Malayan or Malaysian flying fox, and Megabats also known as the Largest bats in the world.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Large Flying Fox11 – 13 inches (27 – 32 cm)1.4 – 2.4 lb (0.65 – 1.1 kg)4.9 feet (150 cm)

Little Red Flying Fox

Found throughout northern and eastern Australia, the little red flying fox is on the smaller side of the genus. Their average weight is 450 grams or just about 1 lb. Their length is just about 12.5 to 20 cm. As far as the wingspan is concerned, it measures 3 feet.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Little Red Flying Fox5 – 8 inches (12.5 – 20 cm)1 lb (0.45 kg)3 feet (91 cm)

Black Flying Fox

The black fox is native to Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It’s one of the largest bat species in the world although it isn’t as big as some of the others in the genus. This species can grow up to about 10 inches and have a wingspan of 39 inches. Its weight is a maximum of 2.2 lb.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Black Flying Fox10 inches (26 cm)1.5 – 2.2 lb (0.7 – 1 kg)3.25 feet (99 cm)

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Indian Flying Fox Size

The Indian flying fox is native to the entirety of the Indian subcontinent. It’s not only India’s largest bat, it’s one of the largest bats in the whole world and can weigh up to 3.5 lb or 1.6 kg. With a wingspan of 4.9 feet and a body length of 8.7 inches, this bat is pretty powerful. It mainly feeds on ripe fruits like mango and banana.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Indian Flying Fox6.1 – 8.7 inches (15.5 – 22 cm)1.3 – 3.5 lb (0.6 – 1.6 kg)3.9 – 4.9 feet (119 – 150 cm)

Spectacled Flying Fox Size

Called that because of the pale fur around its eyes which make it look like it’s wearing a pair of spectacles, the spectacled flying fox lives mostly around Queensland in Australia. It’s an endangered species. Weighing between 0.9 and 2.2 lb and with a body length of around 25 cm, it’s a moderate size by flying fox standards.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Spectacled Flying Fox8.6 – 9.8 inches (22 – 25 cm)0.9 – 2.2 lb (0.4 – 1 kg)3.2 feet (97.5 cm)

Small Flying Fox Size

This is one of the most widely distributed species of the flying fox and can be found all over south and southeast Asia. It’s very variable in its colouring. It’s not very big, having a body length of only 7.2 – 9.4 inches and a wingspan of 4 feet. It weighs around 1 – 1.25 lb.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Small Flying Fox7.2 – 9.4 inches (18 – 24 cm)1 – 1.25 lb (0.45 – 0.55 kg)4 feet (122 cm)

Big-eared Flying Fox Size

Often found in the coastal mangrove forests of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, they usually stick to lower elevations. They’re known in these areas as a smaller species of the flying fox and fruit bat family. Their ears are very distinct, being elongated to a very fine point.

Weighing around 0.88 lb on average, the big-eared flying fox isn’t more than 9.4 inches in length.

AnimalLengthWeightForearm Length
Big-eared Flying Fox7.2 – 9.4 inches (18 – 24 cm)0.6 – 0.9 lb (0.3 – 0.4 kg)5.6 – 6.1 inches (14.3 – 15.7 cm)

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Great Flying Fox Size

The great flying fox is also known as the Bismarck flying fox since it’s predominantly found in the Bismarck Archipelago of New Guinea. It’s one of the two heaviest bats in the world, with certain individuals weighing in at 3.5 lb or 1.6 kg. Certainly, it’s the largest bat in Melanesia.

Males are larger than females and have a body length of 10.5 – 13 inches while females have a body length of 9.2 – 11 inches. It has a wingspan of 3.25 – 3.9 feet. It also has a mantle around its neck in a contrasting colour.

AnimalLength WeightWingspan
Great Flying Fox9.2 – 13 inches (23.5 – 33 cm)3.5 lb (1.6 kg)3.25 – 3.9 feet (100 – 120 cm)

Mauritian Flying Fox Size

Native to the island country of Mauritius, the Mauritian flying fox can reach a wingspan of 31 inches. And this makes it the largest endemic mammal in the country. However, they have a vast difference in weight and can range from just 40 grams to 800 grams (0.08 – 1.7 lb). 

AnimalWeightForearm LengthWingspan
Mauritian Flying Fox0.08 – 1.7 lb (0.04 – 0.8 kg)5.9 inch (15 cm)2.6 feet (79 cm)

Madagascan Flying Fox Size

And finally, there’s the Madagascan flying fox in eastern Africa. It has one of the longest wingspans in the bat family and is the largest bat found in Madagascar. With a body length of 9.1 – 10.5 inches and a wingspan of 39 – 49 inches, this bat weighs around 1.1 – 1.65 lb.

AnimalLengthWeightWingspan
Madagascan Flying Fox9.1 – 10.5 inches (23.5 – 27 cm)1.1 – 1.65 lb (0.5 – 0.75 kg)3.25 – 4.08 (99 – 124 cm)

Conclusion

Flying foxes come in a surprising range of sizes, with some being true giants of the bat world. Their size variations are crucial adaptations for their ecological roles as pollinators and seed dispersed. And that’s all you have to know about the size of the flying fox. I hope this article was helpful and that you gained something valuable from it.


FAQs

How big are flying foxes?

Flying foxes vary greatly in size. The smallest, like the Little Red Flying Fox, weighs around 1 lb and has a 3-foot wingspan. Conversely, giants like the Indian Flying Fox can reach 3.5 lb and boast a wingspan of nearly 5 feet.

What’s the largest flying fox species?

There are contenders for the title. The Great Flying Fox and the Indian Flying Fox both reach a weight of 3.5 lb. However, the Great Flying Fox might have a slight edge with a slightly larger wingspan.

What features determine a flying fox’s size?

Wingspan is often a better size indicator than body length due to their reliance on flight. Additionally, species and sex play a role. Males are generally larger than females in most flying fox species.

Are there any endangered flying foxes based on size?

Sadly, yes. The Spectacled Flying Fox, known for its distinctive eye markings, faces endangerment despite being moderately sized compared to other flying foxes.

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