Japanese Bats

Okinawa is located in the subtropics zone south of mainland Japan. Since Okinawa is generally warmer, there are a lot of interesting fruit trees such as mango, papaya, and lime (shikuwasa in hogen). These fruit trees provide ample food for fruit bats. On many Okinawan islands, giant fruit bats, or komori (flying foxes), fly through the night sky in search of midnight snacks. While I’ve seen them on the mainland as well, I was able to get a lot of unique pictures on Kitadaito Island. There the bats grow especially large as there are few predators, and only the largest could have made it to such a far-flung island.

Unlike most bats, these flying foxes have larger eyes and smaller ears, relying more on sight for food than their insect hunting cousins that rely on echo location. Still they pack a powerful screech and can often be heard in trees calling to each other. Aside from common fruit, they also eat the seeds from some palm trees and other harder fruits.