Casinycteris argynnis, Thomas, 1910

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier, 2019, Pteropodidae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 9 Bats, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 16-162 : 82

publication ID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Casinycteris argynnis


35. View Plate 3: Pteropodidae

Short-palated Fruit Bat

Casinycteris argynnis

French: Casinyctére doré / German: Goldfarbener Kurzschnauzenflughund / Spanish: Casinicterio dorado

Other common names: Golden Short-palated Fruit Bat

Taxonomy. Casinycteris argynnis Thomas, 1910 ,

“Bitye, Ja River, S.E. Kameruns [= Cameroon]. Alt. 2000’ [= 610 m].”

Until very recently, C. argynnis was the only species of Casinycteris . Monotypic.

Distribution. S Cameroon, SW Central African Republic, N Republic of the Congo, and DR Congo. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 80 mm (males) and 70-100 mm (females), tailless, ear 15-20 mm, hindfoot 12-14 mm, forearm 50-56 mm (males) and 56-62 mm (females); weight 29 g (males) and 24-41 g (females). Females are larger than males. The Short-palated Fruit Bat is brown, with conspicuous face markings consisting of white patch on forehead (in between eyes), white posterior eyespots, partly white lips (posterior part), and white cheeks. Head is dog-like; eyes are relatively large: eyelids have yellow to orange skin; ears are yellowish and relatively long, with whitish anterior basal ear patches that are sometimes indistinct; nostrils and anterior part oflips are yellowish; and lips and cheeks are expansible. There are no epaulettes on adult males. Males and females are similar in color, with medium sepia-brown to russet dorsum (slightly darker in juveniles); hairs have dark brown bases and medium brown tips; neck is slightly lighter; and pelage is woolly and mid-dorsally 7-8 mm long (intermixed with hairs up to 13-14 mm), extending halfway up forearms, both above and below. Venter is medium brown at flanks, becoming paler grayish white on throat, neck, and mid-venter; mid-ventral hairs are 6-7 mm long. Wings are brown, with orange-brown or yellowish brown areas and darker reticulations (suggesting it relies on camouflage when roosting in open foliage; these patches generally fade in museum specimens) and attach to first toes; finger joints are yellowish; and thumbs are long. Skull is short, and rostrum and bony palate are remarkably short; profile of forehead is strongly concave; braincase is domed; premaxillae are relatively well developed; zygomatic width is large, and arches are relatively strong; there is almost no post-dental palate; and there are 3-4 thick and one thin (sometimes divided) serrated palatal ridges, all of which are interdental, and 13-16 thin, serrated, packed, irregular post-dental ridges. Dental formula for all species of Casinycterisis12/2,C1/1,P 2/3, M 1/2 (x2) = 28. Upperincisorsare relatively short; C! is tall and curved backward, with inner edges generally smooth but exceptionally looking serrated due to wear; and premolars and molars are subcircular, with welldeveloped inner cusps.

Habitat. Wetter and drier types of lowland Rainforest and Southern Rainforest Savanna biotic zones, swamp forests and mosaics of swamp and riverine forests, and secondary grasslands at elevations of 333-750 m.

Food and Feeding. In the Kisangani area ( DR Congo), diet during dry season (June-August) contained Ficus leprieurii fruits ( Moraceae ). During the second heavy rainy season (March-May), this fig was one-quarter of the diet, I. wildemaniana formed almost two-thirds of the diet, and Pseudospondias microcarpa ( Anacardiaceae ) made up the rest. During other times of year, otherfruits were consumed: Dacryodes edulis ( Burseraceae ), Carica papaya ( Caricaceae ), IF vallis-choudae, Uapaca guineensis ( Phyllanthaceae ), Spondias cytherea ( Anacardiaceae ), and Musanga cecropioides and Myrianthus arboreus (both Urticaceae ).

Breeding. Female Short-palated Fruit Bats have one young per pregnancy. Pregnant and lactating females were collected in January-February, but one pregnant female was captured in April. Young were recorded in January-February and May.

Activity patterns. No information.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. The Short-palated Fruit Bat roosts alone; one female was collected in dense foliage of a bush.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Shortpalated Fruit Bat has a wide distribution and apparently large population;it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to be listed in a higher category. Important threats are deforestation, persecution as a pest of cultivated fruits, and overharvesting for food.

Bibliography. Andersen (1912b), Bergmans (1991), Gembu Tungaluna (2012), Happold, M. (2013a), Meirte (1983), Monadjem, Taylor et al. (2010), Van Cakenberghe et al. (2017), Webala et al. (2016).














Casinycteris argynnis

Don E. Wilson & Russell A. Mittermeier 2019

Casinycteris argynnis

Thomas 1910