|Common Nicknames||Flying Fruiteaters, Jungle Devils|
|Habitat||Various regions of Daen and The Far West|
The Fruger-Volador is a species of bat native to the lands of Daen and The Far West, known for being mischaracterized for years as a bloodsucker and a menace to society. Feared and often killed by the Ailor locals since the time they were slaves of the Allorn Empire, the animals greatly recovered following the explosion of nature that followed the Wildering. Divided into three subspecies of varying sizes, the Fruger-Volador is likely to survive for many more years, though deforestation will probably begin restricting the locations of their colonies.
The Fruger-Volador was identified relatively early on in the history of the Allorn Empire and the Altalar overall. Common in the jungles that were dense in Teled Methen, during this early period the creatures were largely left alone, not even being hunted as their meat was considered mediocre. This continued throughout much of the following centuries, well into the slow decline of the Allorn Empire. However, by the era of the Blossoming, following the extinction of the bat-like Mazo Race, the Fruger-Volador was given a much fiercer reputation among the slaves of the Allorn Empire. The bat became feared and vilified, while for the Altalar, the animal’s consumption of the fruit grown by their agricultural enterprises was growing “untenable.” As a result, in many parts of the Allorn Empire, the animal was actively hunted, which greatly harmed their spread across Daen and The Far West. By the Cataclysm, their numbers had plummeted to near extinction, but in the following decades, as the Wildering restored the nature of Daen and disrupted the lands of The Far West, the bat flourished, and today, has recovered a considerable amount of its population. However, Altalar and Ailor lumber operations have begun to cut back on their habitats. For now, the animal remains a feature of many scary stories among the Ailor local to the lands the Fruger-Volador dominates.
The Fruger-Volador is divided between three subspecies, each of differing sizes, but they all share the same base characteristics. They possess large pointed black ears that stick out from their heads, as well as large brown eyes that come in various shades. Their heads are connected to their bodies with a short neck, with the majority of their form going to their broad membraned arms and hands, which function as their wings. They have five “fingers” which support the thin membranes of skin that allow them to fly, and their bodies end without a tail, alongside two powerful (though small) five-toed, clawed feet.
Fruger-Voladors exist in three different subspecies, the Western, Southern, and Central varieties. Gender population numbers are generally considered equal, though some have noted an increase in females within the Western Breed. They possess sexual dimorphism as well, with males often being larger than females. Below can be found a listing of the various subspecies of Fruger-Volador in Aloria.
- Western Breed: The Western Breed is the largest subspecies of this bat, sitting around a foot long with a wingspan up to four times that. They have dark brown fur along with tan underbellies and areas of their face, and unlike other species of bat, do not have upturned, uniquely shaped noses. Instead, their noses possess large nostrils, and the entire subspecies is incapable of echolocation. They primarily live on the Sundial Isles.
- Central Breed: In the middle in terms of size at around three-quarters of a foot long, the Central Breed resides primarily in Daendroc and areas of Hyarroc. They have brown fur all over their bodies, but also different in possessing a scruff of grey hairs framing their head along their neck, and an upturned, pink nose. They are capable of echolocation, and along with their diet of fruit, eat insects as well.
- Southern Breed: The Southern Breed is the smallest subspecies, reaching anywhere between one to two inches large. They appear identical to the Central Breed, but lack the grey stripe around their necks, and are also known to feed on vegetation in addition to fruit rather than fruit and insects.
Life Span and Development
Fruger-Volador mothers give birth to a single offspring, often during the spring or early summer months. This birthing takes place right-side-up rather than upside-down, to help with the momentum of the event. When they emerge, the pup is quite small and has no fur, instead, being hairless with dark skin that significantly lightens around certain areas of their body. They are then wrapped in their mother’s wings and kept close, with the mother often being helped by females in the surrounding area. The pup matures rapidly, growing in size and being capable of flight after two to four weeks when its forelimb length reaches an acceptable level. This is also when they are considered to have reached their adult size and, after a month, they possess the appearance of an adult, though a further month of development is required before they are truly adults, and are capable of mating. Polyamorous, the Fruger-Volador will have multiple partners over their lifetime. They can live for a surprisingly long time, up to thirty years.
Fruger-Volador are skittish creatures, easily startled and sent flying, having learned through centuries of interactions with Humans and Nelfin to avoid their presence. When spooked, they will often drop what they are doing and shriek once as they wheel around to prepare to fly off. Some, especially if the intruder is close to a maternal colony, will wheel and dive at the individual’s face before retreating, having not touched the offender's features. Further knowledge of their behavior is made more difficult by their skittish nature.
Territory and Groupings
Fruger-Voladors exist in close-knit colonies numbering into the tens of thousands in some regions. During the birthing season, groups of female Fruger-Volador will temporarily separate, or collectively fly to an area of the nesting ground occupied by the colony to form an insular, maternal colony, where they can raise their child, and other females can help them. Nesting grounds for the Fruger-Volador vary from caves to trees to even ruins and the attics or roofs of urban dwellings.
- The Sangunos Bat, which is an actual blood-drinker, is believed by many to be the original cause of anti-bat sentiments in the Cultures of Daen, with the Fruger-Volador swept along for the ride simply due to their larger size.
- The Hortaal Moth, while imagined as a major source of food for those members of the Fruger-Volador to live in the Moon Moth habitats, are actually poisonous to the bat species, while the Southern Breed that primarily lives in the region feeds on vegetation alone.