Moths are not the only pollinators active in the dark—bats and bushbabies are mammals that feed during the night. Flowers that are pollinated by bats open in the evening, or during the night, contain nectar, and have a fruity scent.
The white flowers of baobab trees are a good example. Baobab trees are pollinated by fruit bats, and occasionally by bushbabies. Bats feed not only on the nectar, but also on flower parts, and any insects in the flower.
In forest, over savannah, near farms or settlements, bats can travel great distances over a single night, and as they feed they may convey pollen from flower to flower pollinating many different trees along the way. Bats also pollinate sausage trees, mangoes, and bananas.
Bushbabies have very large eyes as they hunt at night, and feed on insects, acacia gum, seeds, bird eggs, fruit and flowers. When they feed on baobab flowers they eat parts of the flower, and while doing so take pollen from flower to flower.
Above Fruit bats resting inside a cave. Credit:P.ULSHER
Above RIGHT and BELOW Fruit bat, Yellow-winged bat at rest–this species mainly hawks insects at flowers.