Cynocephalus volans occurs on the Philippine islands of Mindanao, Basilan, Samar, Leyte, Bohol.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native ); oceanic islands (Native )
Colugos or "flying lemurs" neither resemble lemurs nor do they fly. They are cat-sized and a little smaller than the Malaysian flying lemurs. Fur coloration is usually darker and less spotted than in the Malaysian species. They have huge eyes and faces that resemble those of Old World fruit bats. The head is broad, somewhat like a greyhound's in appearance, with rounded short ears and a blunt muzzle. The limbs are of equal length, with strong sharp claws for climbing, and the toes are connected by webs of skin. This web of skin extends into a distinct structure called a patagium, which stretches from the side of the animal's neck to the tips of the fingers and toes and continues to the very tip of the tail. No other gliding mammal has such an extensive membrane. The arrangement of the unusual and distinctive incisor teeth is similar to that of herbivorous mammals such as cattle or deer. The upper incisors are located on the sides of the jaw and are caniniform, leaving a gap at the front so they do not oppose the forwardly protruded lower incisors. The lower incisors are comb-like with as many as 20 comb tines arising from one root, which may allow scraping and straining food, and also grooming and cleaning the fur. The molars retain a three-cusped insectivore pattern and have a shearing action that includes a large transverse component. This action, and the crenulated enamel of the molars, provide for efficient mastication of plant material. The dental formula is 2/3, 1/1, 2/2, 3/3 = 34.
Range mass: 1 to 1.75 kg.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
Habitat and Ecology
Philippine colugos are entirely arboreal. They live in the multilayered rain forest. They are also often found near coconut and rubber plantations.
Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest
The diet of Cynocephalus volans consists mainly of leaves, buds, and flowers from a variety of tree species. Most of the time, they prefer young leaves because young leaves contain higher nutritional value than old leaves. They also might eat fruits and sap. In general,they prefer larger trees for foraging because larger trees produce more young leaves and other food sources. They use their enlarged tongue and specialized lower incisors to pick leaves in a cow-like fashion. The stomach is specialized for ingesting large quantities of leafy vegetation. The intestines are long and convoluted. Their intestine can approach 4 meters in length. The pyloric digestive region, the part near the exit to the intestines, is enlarged and divided into compartments. These chambers harbors microorganisms that help break down cellulose and other relatively indigestible carbohydrates.
Life History and Behavior
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
Gestation takes 105 days. Usually a single young is produced, but occasionally twins are born. The infant is born in an underdeveloped state (altricial). The infant is carried on the belly of the mother.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous
Average birth mass: 38.5 g.
Average gestation period: 105 days.
Average number of offspring: 1.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Although Philippine Colugos are not endangered, they are threatened by deforestation and loss of habitat.
US Federal List: threatened
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Philippine colugos are considered by plantation owners as pests since their diet contain fruits, leaves, and flowers.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Philippine colugos are hunted for their meat.
Philippine flying lemur
The Philippine flying lemur (Cynocephalus volans) is one of two species of flying lemurs, the only two living species in the order Dermoptera. Additionally, it is the only member of the genus Cynocephalus.
An average Philippine flying lemur weighs about 1 to 1.7 kg (2.2 to 3.7 lb) and is 14 to 17 in (36 to 43 cm) long. It has a wide head, small ears, and big eyes. Its clawed feet are large and webbed for fast climbing and for gliding. Its 12-in (36-cm) tail is connected to the forelimbs via a patagium. This membrane helps it glide distances of 100 m or more, useful for finding food and escaping predators, such as the Philippine eagle. It is nocturnal and stays in hollow trees or clings on dense foliage during daytime. The female Philippine flying lemur usually gives birth to one young after a two-month gestation period. The young is helpless and attaches itself to its mother's belly, in a pouch fashioned from the mother's skin flaps.
Its 34 teeth resemble those of a carnivore, but the Philippine flying lemur eats mainly soft fruits, flowers, and young leaves.
The Philippine flying lemur is arboreal and usually resides in primary and secondary forests. However, some wander into coconut, banana, and rubber plantations. They are considered pests, since they eat fruits and flowers, so are hunted by humans. Their flesh is also cooked as a delicacy, and their fur is used as material for native caps. The IUCN 1996 had declared the species vulnerable owing to the destruction of lowland forests and to hunting, but it was downlisted to Least Concern in 2008. The 2008 IUCN report indicates the species persists in the face of degraded habitat, with its current population large enough to avoid the threatened category.
- Gonzalez, J. C., Custodia, C., Carino, P. & Pamaong-Jose, R. (2008). Cynocephalus volans. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
- Linnæus, Carl (1758). Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I (in Latin) (10 ed.). Holmiæ: Laurentius Salvius. p. 30. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
- Stafford, B. J. (2005). "Order Dermoptera". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- "Philippine Eagle" (Video). Retrieved 22 November 2012. "Philippine eagle hunting and catching flying lemur"