Straw-colored fruit bat

Eidolon helvum

The straw-colored fruit bat is adaptable to many habitats and lives in lowland forests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal in the west, South Africa to the south, and Ethiopia in the east. It is an herbivore, eating wild fruits and nectar.

They are strong flyers, and have been seen at sea, 125 miles from the nearest land. In West Africa, these bats are the most-frequently eaten meat by humans.

Straw-colored fruit bat behavior and facts

  • Fruit bats can live in colonies of more than 100,000.
  • They are nocturnal (active at night).

From birth to death

  • Breeds: April to June
  • Implantation of the embryo: October
  • Birth: One bat, born between August and January; twins are rare.
  • Vital statistics
  • Weight: 8 or more ounces
  • Wingspan: 20 to 24 inches


Not listed

Fruit bats, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's fruit bats live in the Africa Rainforest exhibit. They enjoy apples, bananas, cantaloupe, grapes and other in-season fruit, all covered with protein supplement. Fruit bats have a high metabolism which means they need to eat a lot, and often.