Black flying-foxes (Pteropus alecto)

Distribution: The Black flying-fox is found along the east, north and west coast of Australia. Their range stretches from Sydney in the south-east, all the way north to Cape York, across the top end then as south-west as Carnarvon in Western Australia.

Appearance: Black flying-foxes are mostly black, though some individuals have a dark red-brown patch on the back of the head and neck, or the belly furs are white-tipped. Unlike the Grey-headed flying-fox, the fur on their body generally only reaches to the knee. This species does display some colour variation and has been known to hybridise with the Grey-headed flying-fox, which can make identification difficult.

Morphometrics: Black flying-foxes weigh 500-950g, and their head and body is 180-280mm in length.

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Flying-fox-distribution. Graphic: M. West, University of Melbourne
Graphic: P. Lentini, University of Melbourne