Rennell flying fox
|Rennell flying fox|
|Rennell flying fox range|
Taxonomy and etymology
It was described as a new species in 1929 by Australian mammalogist Ellis Le Geyt Troughton. As the genus Pteropus is speciose, it is divided into closely related species groups. The Rennell flying fox is in the "samoensis" species group. Its species name "rennelli" comes from Rennell Island, which is part of the Solomon Islands. Rennell Island was where the holotype was collected, and remains the only known location of this species. In 1962, Hill published that he considered Rennell's flying fox as a subspecies of the Solomons flying fox, with a trinomen of Pteropus rayneri rennelli.
The forearm of the holotype was 121 mm (4.8 in) long. The fur of its back is uniformly brownish, with the fur of its neck and face lighter.
Females give birth to one offspring per litter, with the young called a "pup." Its lifespan is estimated at 8–9 years. It is nocturnal, roosting in sheltered places such as trees during the day. Individuals roost by themselves.
Range and habitat
It is only known from Rennell Island, which is part of the Solomon Islands.
The holotype was the only known individual of these species until 1958, when two more were collected. It is currently listed as an endangered species by the IUCN; its 2017 assessment uplisted it from its 2008 status of vulnerable. A 2016 study stated that the Rennell's flying fox is one of the land mammals most threatened by overhunting. Because the species has such a small range, it is susceptible to extinction via natural disaster; a single cyclone could conceivably extinct this species.
- Lavery, T.H. (2017). "Pteropus rennelli". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T136685A22038028.
- Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt (1929). "A new fruit bat (Pteropus rayneri Group) from the Solomons" (PDF). Records of the Australian Museum. 17 (4): 193–198. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.17.1929.761.
- Almeida, Francisca C; Giannini, Norberto P; Simmons, Nancy B; Helgen, Kristofer M (2014). "Each flying fox on its own branch: A phylogenetic tree for Pteropus and related genera (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 77: 83–95. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.03.009. PMID 24662680.
- Beolens, B.; Watkins, M.; Grayson, M. (2009). The eponym dictionary of mammals. JHU Press. p. 339. ISBN 9780801895333.
- Hill, J. E. (1962). "A little-known fruit-bat from Rennell Island". The natural history of Rennell Island, British Solomon Islands. 4. Copenhagen, Denmark: Danish Science Press. pp. 7–9.
- Ripple, William J; Abernethy, Katharine; Betts, Matthew G; Chapron, Guillaume; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Galetti, Mauro; Levi, Taal; Lindsey, Peter A; MacDonald, David W; Machovina, Brian; Newsome, Thomas M; Peres, Carlos A; Wallach, Arian D; Wolf, Christopher; Young, Hillary (2016). "Bushmeat hunting and extinction risk to the world's mammals". Royal Society Open Science. 3 (10): 160498. doi:10.1098/rsos.160498. PMC 5098989. PMID 27853564.