Egyptian fruit bat

Rousettus aegyptiacus

The Egyptian fruit bat has a broad range, from sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, east to Iran and Pakistan. It can live from sea level to 13,000 feet, and from arid to moist habitats.

In Africa, bat colonies can have 40,000 to 50,000 bats. They roost in moist caves, but also in ruins, tombs, underground irrigation tunnels or open wells. It is an herbivore, consuming fruit juice and flower nectar.

Egyptian fruit bat behavior and facts

  • Fruit it likes: date, carob, mulberry, azedarach, fig, apricot, peach and apple
  • Bats may migrate in search of food.
  • Unlike most fruit bats, Egyptian bats use echolocation: when flying in darkness they utter high-pitched buzzing and listen to its echo off of nearby objects. They use this echo to located and identify objects.
  • Fighting is common when bats roost together.

From birth to death

  • Mating: June to September
  • Gestation: 4 months
  • Birth: one bat is born (twins are rare), October to December.
  • The young are weaned by March.
  • Lifespan: up to 22 years in captivity

Vital statistics

  • Length: 3.75 to 7 inches
  • Weight: 2.9 to 6 ounces
  • Males are larger than females.


Not listed

Egyptian fruit bats, the Oregon Zoo and you

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