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Cynopterus sphinx

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Cynopterus sphinx
Species Authority: (Vahl, 1797)
Common Name(s):
English Greater Shortnosed Fruit Bat, Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat, Short-nosed Indian Fruit Bat
Synonym(s):
Cynopterus angulatus Miller, 1898
Cynopterus brachyotis Miller, 1898 subspecies angulatus
Cynopterus brachyotis Zelebor, 1869 variety scherzeri
Cynopterus marginatus Gray, 1870 variety ellitoi
Cynopterus sphnx Andersen, 1910 subspecies gangeticus
Pachysoma brevicaudatum Temminck, 1837
Pteropus marginatus É. Geoffroy, 1810
Pteropus pusillus É. Geoffroy, 1803
Vespertilio fibulatus Vahl, 1797
Vespertilio sphinx Vahl, 1797
Taxonomic Notes: There is considerable confusion between this species and Cynopterus brachyotis. Recent molecular studies confirm that C. sphinx is genetically distinct from C. brachyotis (Bumrungsri 2005). Some authorities list scherzeri Zelebor, 1869 under C. brachyotis (Müller, 1838) (Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1951, Corbet and Hill 1992), while some treat it as synonym of Cynopterus sphinx (Vahl, 1797) (Hill and Thonglongya 1972; Hill 1983; Koopman 1993; Bates and Harrison 1997). Simmons (2005) suggests that although scherzeri is listed as a valid subspecies of C. sphinx, it might prove to be distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Bates, P., Bumrungsri, S., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because, although it is seldom recorded, it has a relatively wide distribution, is tolerant of a broad range of habitats, has a presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed from much of South Asia, through southern China, most of mainland and insular Southeast Asia. In South Asia this species is presently known from Bangladesh (Dhaka, Khulna and Rajsahi divisions), Bhutan (Phuntsholing), India (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Nicobar Islands, Orissa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal), Nepal (Central, Eastern, Far Western and Western Nepal), Pakistan (Sind) and Sri Lanka (Central, Eastern, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva and Western provinces) (Molur et al. 2002). It has been recorded from sea level to an elevation of 400 m asl distributed widely in the region. In southern China, it is found from Tibet to Fujian (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it ranges from Myanmar in the west, through Thailand, Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia to Peninsular Malaysia, and from here it occurs in Indonesia (the Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, western Java, Bali, Sumbawa and Sulawesi) and southern Borneo (Kalimantan [Indonesia]).
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a widespread and very common species. In South Asia, it is considered to be more adaptable than C. brachyotis, and the population of C. sphinx seems to be stable (Molur et al. 2002, C. Srinivasulu pers. comm. September, 2007).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in a wide variety of habitats from rural areas, primary and secondary forested habitats to urban landscapes. It is found as small colonies consisting of 3-7 individuals, sometimes more; it roosts underside leaves, in flower and fruit clusters of Kitul Palm, on Saraka asoka trees and is known to build tents in the roosting trees. It feeds on a variety of fruits both wild and cultivated. It has a low but fast flight. It breeds twice a year, and in some areas is known to breed throughout the year and bears a single young (Bates and Harrison 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species as a whole. In South Asia, it is locally threatened in parts of its range through deforestation, generally resulting from logging operations and the conversion of land to agriculture and for construction of dams and other developmental activities. It is also under threat due to hunting for medicinal purposes (Molur et al. 2002). In Southeast Asia, it is a pest species of orchards and is hunted for food in some parts of the range. In China, there is some habitat loss and the species is hunted for medicinal purposes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: As it is present in many protected areas and is very adaptable, no direct conservation measures are currently needed for this species as a whole. In South Asia, this species like most other fruit bats in India is considered a vermin under Schedule V of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. It has been recorded from protected areas in India like Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh, Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Indravati National Park in Chattisgarh. Taxonomic studies, population monitoring and lobbying with the government to accord it a non-vermin status are recommendations (Molur et al. 2002). Molecular taxonomic studies to know the variations in the population are recommended (C. Srinivasulu pers. comm. 10 October, 2007).

Citation: Bates, P., Bumrungsri, S., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C. 2008. Cynopterus sphinx. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 July 2014.
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