To clarify the dietary habits of the Spectacled flying-fox, the level of dietary variation among camps and the extent to which P. conspicillatus is a rainforest specialist.
Type of Study:
P. conspicillatus utilises a broad variety of plant resources from a variety of habitats. Seed and pulp from figs (Ficus spp., Moraceae) and pollen from the family Myrtaceae were most frequently represented in the faeces from a range of both wet sclerophyll and rainforest habitats. The dietary composition of P. conspicillatus at individual camps could not be predicted by the habitats located within a typical foraging distance of each camp (20 km), and although consistent dietary changes were seen across all camps over time, each camp had a unique dietary signature indicative of feeding on a distinct subset of available vegetation.
The unique diet of each camp and the variety of dietary items consumed suggest that camps may need to be managed on an individual camp-specific basis, and that P. conspicillatus are utilising a broader range of resources than would be expected if the species was a strict ‘rainforest-fruit specialist’.
PCA, correlation, Chi-square tests
Response variable :
Presence/absence of dietary items detected in faeces
2017 faecal samples
Parsons, J. G., Cairns, A., Johnson, C. N., Robson, S. K. A., Shilton, L. A., Westcott, D. A. (2006) Dietary variation in spectacled flying foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) of the Australian Wet Tropics. Aust. J. Zool. 54, 417.