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Chironax melanocephalus

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Eutheria
Ordo: Chiroptera
Subordo: Megachiroptera
Familia: Pteropodidae
Subfamilia: Pteropodinae
Tribus: Cynopterini
Subtribus: Cynopterina
Genus: Chironax
Species: C. melanocephalus
Subspecies: C. m. melanocephalus - C. m. tumulus


Chironax melanocephalus Temminck, 1825

Type locality: Indonesia, West Java, Bantam.

* Temminck. 1825. Monogr. Mammalia, 1: 190.
* Conservation status: IUCN link: Chironax melanocephalus (Least Concern)
* Chironax melanocephalus in Mammal Species of the World.
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder


* Thailand
* West Malaysia
* Borneo
* Sumatra
* Java

Vernacular names
Bahasa Melayu: Cecadu Kepala Hitam
English: Black-capped Fruit Bat

The Black-capped Fruit Bat (Chironax melanocephalus) is a species of megabat in the monotypic genus Chironax.


Seven specimens of C. melanocephalus were collected from the lowland forest at Kubah and Lambir, and beach forest at Samunsam, Sarawak, Borneo. The specimen that was mist-netted in Kubah National Park on 12 July 1995 was a first record for Sarawak (Abdullah et al. 1997). According to Payne et al. (1985) the distribution of C. melanocephalus in Borneo is only known from Sepilok in Sabah and Temburong in Brunei. The range includes Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi (Payne et al. 1985).

Biology and ecology

The habitat where it was caught was lowland mixed dipterocarp forest. Two specimens were caught in the understory of primary dipterocarp forest in Kubah National Park; one form the understory of mixed beach forest habitat in Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary; and four from the canopy (between 15 to 30 m) of the primary dipterocarp forest in Lambir Hill National Park. These sites are new distributional records for C. melanocephalus in Sarawak and have extended the range of the species to the western part of Borneo. The bat normally roosts in small groups in tree ferns and in shallow caves (Payne et al. 1985).

All C. melanocephalus caught were adults, three males and four females. Two were in non-reproductive condition and others were in various reproductive stages. A female (MTA96041) caught on 21 May 1996 from Kubah was pregnant. In November 1996, two females caught in Lambir Hills National Park were in post-lactating condition, suggesting recent detachment or loss of juveniles. A male caught at the same site was observed to have enlarged testes. Medway (1978) recorded pregnant females in February and April in the upland area of Cameron highlands in Peninsular Malaysia.

External measurements

* 6 samples; FA = 44.45±1.28, TL = none, EL = 12.04±0.66, HD = 23.68±0.93(5), TB = 15.95±1.57, WT = 16.25±1.63, HB = 65.28±2.47(5), WS = 316(1), HF = 8.12±0.60(5), D5 = 57.04±2.33(5).

References in Borneo

* Hall LS, Gordon G. Grigg, Craig Moritz, Besar Ketol, Isa Sait, Wahab Marni and M.T. Abdullah. 2004. Biogeography of fruit bats in Southeast Asia. Sarawak Museum Journal LX(81):191-284.
* Karim, C., A.A. Tuen and M.T. Abdullah. 2004. Mammals. Sarawak Museum Journal Special

Issue No. 6. 80: 221—234.

* Mohd. Azlan J., Ibnu Maryanto , Agus P. Kartono and M.T. Abdullah. 2003 Diversity, Relative

Abundance and Conservation of Chiropterans in Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 79: 251-265.

* Hall LS, Richards GC, Abdullah MT. 2002. The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal. 78: 255-282.

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License