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This bat is found south of the Sahara, in Egypt and on the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula. It prefers to stay in habitats that provide forest cover, places to sleep, and abundant fruit tree growth.
It is a nocturnal species that sleeps during the day in caves, mines or other shelters. They sleep close together to avoid heat loss. They form groups of various sizes, from small colonies of 20-40 members to large colonies of 9,000. The female gives birth to a single pup, although twins have occasionally been recorded, after a 4-month gestation period. After birth, hatchlings are cared for solely by their mother for approximately 9 months and are capable of flight some 63 to 70 days after birth.
They can consume 50 to 150 percent of their weight in fruit, not only pollinating the flowers of fruit trees, but also assisting as the primary agent in seed dispersal for many tree species. On the other hand, they attack fruit orchards intended for human consumption and farmers fight them with poison.