Type locality: Fitzroy Island, NE Queensland, Australia (Gould, 1850; Simmons, 2005).
Distribution: This widespread species ranges from the Maluku Province through the Papuan region to NE Australia (Qld), with two subspecies currently recognized (Flannery, 1995ab; Simmons, 2005). Both present in the Papuan region. P. c. conspicillatus (Gould, 1850) found in the Papua Province: documented records from the Wasur National Park, likely to be relatively widespread along the south-eastern coast. Papua New Guinea: recorded from the Sandaun (including Tumleo Island), East Sepik (including Shouten Islands, Raboin), Madang, Morobe (including Lababia Island), Central, National Capital District and the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea; D'Entrecasteaux Islands (Goodenough, Normanby and Hull), Trobriand Islands (Kiriwina, Woodlark and Alcester) and the Louisiade Archipelago (Rossel and Tagula). P. c. chrysauchen (Peters, 1862) found in the Papua Province: with records from Misool, Batanta, Salawati, Waigeo as well as Wai and Kri (east respectively south of Mansuar Island), Raja Ampat (Flannery, 1995b; Kompanje & Moeliker, 2001); Biak-Supiori and Yapen, Cenderawasih Bay; while on mainland New Guinea it is found from the Vogelkop Peninsula and eastwards throughout the Bird's Head region to the Mamberamo Basin.
Natural History: Not much is known concerning the biology of this species in the Papuan region. A small number of specimens was collected while feeding in a fruiting Ficus sp. at 1000m in the Torricelli Mts, East Sepik Province and it has been found on some off-shore Islands along the northern coast of New Guinea where they do forage upon fruits during the day. They are unlikely to roost in the extensive caves-systems present on some of these Islands (Flannery, 1995ab). It is has been found roosting sympatric with P. hypomelanus on Hull, off Normanby in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands (Flannery, 1995b) and on Raboin Island, East Sepik Province (Bonaccorso, 1998). Not unusual for this species to roost in huge camps numbering tens of thousands of individuals, such colonies is extremely noisy and smelly. Several large colonies exist inside and around Madang City, PNG (these was previously miss-identified as P. neohibernicus) and F. Bonaccorso conducted extensive studies on these colonies between 1991 and 92 and he estimated that these colonies numbered around 7,000 individuals (Bonaccorso, 1998). Four juveniles was collected on Hull in January 1989 and these weighed 240, 260, 380 and 400g. This data suggest that reproduction in the Papuan region is very similar to the one reported for the Australian population, where births occur between October and December (Hall, 1983c; Flannery, 1995b).
(P. c. chrysauchen; near Sorong, , West Papua)
Conservation status: Least Concern (2008 IUCN Red List). This species is likely to be a very common in the Papuan region. It has proven to be susceptible to hunting and habitat destruction because of it is highly gregarious, forming large camps and the population trends is such large camps should be monitored. Local protection is also important to ensure that large colonies inhabiting large cities is being effectively protected, especially the populations of around 7,000 bats present in Madang with another 1,800 being present in Lae (Bonaccorso, 1998). Both populations seems to be stable despite being located in towns where disturbance is high and where they are being illegally hunted.