The short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus sphinx is a common plant-visiting bat that is widely distributed throughout the Indo-Malayan region. In this chapter, we discuss the dispersal patterns, mating strategy and genetic diversity in the short-nosed fruit bat C. sphinx. We used a broad-range of techniques, including mark-recapture, radio-telemetry and molecular biology analyses. Our studies uncovered unique aspects of the dispersal, mating system and genetic diversity of these bats. Both the sexes of C. sphinx were found to disperse completely from the natal harems before subadult stage and young female C. sphinx become members of a harem much earlier than their male counterparts. The nonharem males are reproductively active, gain access to harem females and sire more offspring in July–August breeding season than March–April breeding season and presumably obtain some reproductive success. Our molecular study shows that considerable genetic diversity was observed in this species from different zonal populations, possibly due to complete dispersal of juveniles of both the sexes from their natal groups and gene flow between the zones. All these studies suggest not only a predictive framework for future studies, but also the use of these data in the management and meaningful conservation of this species.
Part of the book: Bats