Pteropus brunneus Dobson, 1878:37

Dusky flying-fox, Dusky flying fox, Percy Islands flying-fox, Percy Island flying fox, Percy Island flying-fox, Dusky fruit bat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Validity disputed

Last record: 1859 (Duncan et al., 1999); purchased in 1874 (Conder, 2023:542); 1874 (Richards & Hall, 2008; Fisher & Blomberg, 2012)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


There is some confusion as to when the only known specimen was collected. The Australian Museum website and the official Action Plan for Australian Bats state that the specimen was collected in 1859. However, Richards & Hall (2008) state that it was collected in 1874, while (Conder, 1995:434) states that the skin and skull were purchased in the latter year (i.e. 1874) from Stevens' Sale Rooms. This discrepancy of 15 years is significant and needs resolving, possibly by consulting (Andersen, 1912) or the label attached to the holotype itself.


Troughton (1957:338) states that a collector by the name of Broadbent made a statement to the effect that Dusky (Percy Islands) Flying Fox had been observed "flying over the coast opposite Percy Island" (quotation from Troughton, not Broadbent).



Percy Islands, Queensland, Australia

Type locality: "Percy Isles, Qld. (as Percy Island)" (Mahoney & Walton, 1988:110)


Biology & Ecology




Only known from the holotype in the British Museum of Natural History (Conder, 2023:543).


Holotype: BMNH (male; skin & skull) (Mahoney & Walton, 1988:110)






Original scientific description:

Dobson, G. E. (1878). Catalogue of the Chiroptera in the Collection of the British Museum. London: British Museum (Natural History). xlii + 567 pp., 30 pls.


Other references:

Andersen, K. (1912). Catalogue of the Chiroptera in the collection of the British Museum. Volume I: Megachiroptera, 2nd edition. London: British Museum. cii + 854 pp.

Conder, Pam. (1995). Dusky Flying-fox Pteropus brunneus. pp. 433-434 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.

Conder, Pam. (2008). Percy Island Flying-fox, Pteropus brunneus. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 437-438. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Conder, Pamela Strahan. (2023). Percy Island Flying-fox, Pteropus brunneus, pp. 542-543. In: Baker, Andrew M. and Gynther, Ian C. (eds.). Strahan’s Mammals of Australia (4th ed.). Wahroonga, NSW: Reed New Holland Publishers. 848 pp.

Corbet, G.B. & Hill, J.E. 1980. A World List of Mammalian Species. London: British Museum. viii + 226 pp.

Corbet, G. B. and Hill, J. Edwards. (1991). A world list of mammalian species. 3rd edition. British Museum Publications and Oxford University Press.

Duncan, Anne, Baker, G. Barry and Montgomery, Narelle. (eds). (1999). The Action Plan for Australian Bats. Environment Australia,Canberra. vi + 106 pp.

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Honacki, J.H., Kinman, K.E. & Koeppl, J.W. (eds) 1982. Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Lawrence, Kansas : Allen Press & Assoc. Syst. Coll. x + 694.pp.

Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

Jackson, Stephen and Groves, Colin. (2015). Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Clayton South, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 529 pp. [p. 239-240]

Koopman, K. F. (1984). Taxonomic and distributional notes on tropical Australian bats. American Museum Novitates 2778: 1-48.

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Lucas, Arthur Henry Shakespeare and Le Souëf, William Henry Dudley. (1909). The Animals of Australia: Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians. Melbourne: Whitcombe and Tombs.

Mahoney, J. A. and Walton, D. W. (1988). Pteropodidae, pp. 105-113. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 5. Mammalia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. x + 273 pp. [p. 110]

Mickleburgh, Simon P., Hutson, Anthony M. and Racey, Paul A. (1992). Old World fruit bats. An action plan for their conservation. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. viii + 252 pp.

Ogilby, J. Douglas. (1892). Catalogue of Australian Mammals, with Introductory Notes on General Mammalogy. Australian Museum, Sydney: Catalogue No. 16: viii + 142 pp.

Richards, G. & Hall, L. (2008). Pteropus brunneus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 19 October 2011.

Ride, W. D. L. (1970). A Guide to the Native Mammals of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. xiv + 249 pp., 62 pls.

Simmons, N.B. and A.L. Cirranello. 2023. Bat Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic database. Version 1.3. Accessed on 06/18/2023.

Tate, G. H. H. (1952). Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 66. Mammals of Cape York Peninsula, with notes on the occurrence of rainforest in Queensland. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 98: 563-616.

Tsang, S.M. 2020. Pteropus brunneus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T18718A22078015. Accessed on 19 June 2022.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]

Wilson, D.E. & Reeder, D.M. 2005 Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.


<< Back to the Chiroptera (Bats) database