Although bats of the genus Pteropus are important ecologically as pollinators and natural hosts for zoonotic pathogens, little is known about their basic physiology. Hematology and plasma biochemistries were determined from wild-caught flying foxes (Pteropus giganteus) in northern India (n = 41). Mean lymphocyte differential count was higher for juveniles than adults. Mean platelet count was lower than previously reported. No hemoparasites were observed. No differences were observed between plasma biochemistry values of male and female bats, juveniles and adults, or lactating and nonlactating females. Variation in aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was seen based on body condition score. Blood urea nitrogen and cholesterol concentrations were lower in P. giganteus than other mammalian groups, but were consistent with those reported from other Pteropus species. Alanine aminotransferase and AST concentrations were higher than those reported for Pteropus vampyrus, a closely related species. This study provides basic physiologic information that can be used in future health and disease studies of Indian flying foxes.
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Vol. 38 • No. 3