Mangoes are one of the most popular tropical fruits around the world. Their sweet, soft flesh and exotic flavors make them irresistible to humans and animals alike. But have you ever wondered – what animals actually eat mangoes in the wild?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: monkeys, bats, squirrels, and some birds are the main animals that eat mangoes.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the diet and behavior of various mango-loving creatures. You’ll learn which animals seek out mangoes as a food source, how they consume and spread the seeds, and the ecological role mammals and birds play in dispersing mango trees.

Frugivorous Mammals That Feast on Mangoes


Monkeys are opportunistic omnivores that love snacking on juicy, sweet mangoes. There are numerous species of monkeys across Asia, Africa and South America that relish mangoes, especially when the fruits are in season.

Some of the most notable mango-loving monkeys include capuchins, langurs, macaques, baboons and vervet monkeys. These primates have dexterous hands that allow them to efficiently peel and eat mangoes. Watching monkeys devour mangoes is quite a spectacle, as they seem to savor each sweet, sticky bite.

According to a 2021 study, monkeys derive up to 25% of their dietary calories from mangoes when the fruits are readily available. This highlights how important mangoes are in the diet of wild monkeys during certain times of year.

Monkeys often fight over the choicest, ripest mangoes and defend fruit trees in their territory. Their innate love of mangoes is so strong that some monkeys even raid farms and orchards, much to the chagrin of human growers.

All in all, monkeys undoubtedly top the list of mammals that feast on mangoes.


Bats may not immediately come to mind as mango lovers, but many fruit bat species eagerly consume mangoes. Fruit bats such as flying foxes use their strong sense of smell to locate ripe, aromatic mangoes, even in the dark of night.

These bats then use their thumbs and sharp teeth to scrape off the mango skin and flesh to reach the sweet pulp and juice.

Studies show that mangoes provide essential nutrients for fruit bats, especially when other fruits are not available. The sugar in mangoes helps fuel bats’ high metabolisms and all the flying they do each night.

Anecdotal reports from mango orchard owners indicate that bats can devour dozens of mangoes in a single evening when they descend on a fruiting tree. So while bats are not usually considered mango aficionados like monkeys, they definitely belong on the list of mammals that relish mangoes.


Being natural foragers and lovers of fruit, squirrels also enjoy eating mangoes whenever they can access them. Tree squirrels like palm squirrels in Asia and fox squirrels in North America are adept climbers that can scurry up mango trees and gnaw on the fruits.

Ground squirrels are also drawn to fallen, overripe mangoes that provide an easy, energizing meal.

A few interesting facts about squirrels and mangoes:

– Squirrels tend to prefer smaller, less ripe mangoes that are easier for them to carry and eat.

– Their sharp teeth make short work of cutting through mango skin and flesh.

– Mangoes provide useful nutrition for squirrels trying to fatten up for winter.

– Squirrels bury and cache excess mangoes to save for later.

– Orchard owners often struggle to protect mangoes from brazen squirrels.

So next time you see a squirrel nibbling on a mango, know that this furry rodent is simply indulging its natural taste for this sweet, tropical fruit.

Birds That Spread Mango Seeds ThroughTheir Diet


Parrots are one of the most well-known birds that feast on mangoes and spread their seeds. These tropical birds use their strong beaks to crack open the fibrous mango fruit and consume the sweet, juicy flesh inside.

Some species like macaws, conures, Amazons, and African greys love mangoes and will eagerly fly long distances to find fruiting mango trees.

It’s estimated that parrots can spread mango seeds up to a mile away from the parent tree after eating the fruit. Their digestive systems help remove the sticky pulp surrounding the seed, which improves the seed’s chances of germinating once deposited on the ground or in the canopy.

Parrots play an important ecological role in dispersing seeds and propagating new mango trees in forests and woodlands.


Hornbills are another family of birds that enjoy mangoes in their diet. There are over 50 species of hornbills in Africa, Asia, and some Pacific islands. These unique looking birds have large downward-curving bills that they use to pluck and consume various fruits.

When hornbills feast on mangoes, they swallow the seeds whole and later regurgitate them undamaged. This allows hornbills to spread mango seeds across their habitat. In fact, studies have found hornbill-dispersed mango seeds have higher survival rates than elephant-dispersed seeds in African forests.

This demonstrates the key role hornbills play as mango seed dispersers.

Fruit Doves

Over 50 species of beautifully colored fruit doves are found in tropical regions around the world. As their name suggests, fruit doves consume large quantities of fruit, including wild mangoes. Smaller species like green-winged doves and pink-necked doves frequently feed on mangoes.

Fruit doves swallow the mango seeds whole, then fly off to digest the fruit and deposit the indigestible seeds. The seeds pass through the dove’s digestive system unharmed, and the birds can transport them remarkable distances.

For example, a 2004 study in Australia found rose-crowned fruit doves spread mango seeds up to 65 km away from the source trees!

Other Creatures That Eat FallenMangoes


A wide variety of insects are attracted to the sweet, juicy flesh of fallen mangoes. Fruit flies are perhaps the most ubiquitous, swarming around overripe mangoes within hours of them falling from trees. Ants often form long trails leading to freshly fallen fruit, extracting the sugary juices.

Beetles like fruit beetles and ladybugs also feed on fallen mangos. Mangoes that sit on the ground for days become infested with maggots from various fly species laying their eggs in the rotting fruit.

According to one report from India, over 60 insect species belonging to 5 orders and 24 families have been recorded feeding on mangoes (Source).


Rodents like rats, squirrels, and chipmunks are very fond of mangoes that have fallen from trees. Their excellent sense of smell allows them to detect ripe, sweet mangoes from a distance. They will eagerly consume the flesh and juices of fallen mangoes.

Rats are especially problematic in orchards, as they can decimate ripe mangoes that drop to the ground at night. Squirrels also forage actively for fallen mangoes. According to one estimate, rodents destroy over 200,000 tons of mangoes annually in India alone, valued at around $200 million dollars (Source).

Control methods like trapping and poisons are sometimes used in mango orchards to limit losses from rodents.


In tropical regions like Southeast Asia and Africa where elephants roam, they are another major consumer of fallen mangoes. Elephants have an exceptional sense of smell that allows them to detect ripe, fallen fruit from far away.

They use their dexterous trunks to pick up mangoes and place them easily into their large mouths. With their immense size and appetite, a herd of elephants can quickly decimate a crop of fallen mangoes under a tree.

Farmers in these regions often use methods like fences, ditches, noisemakers, and even bees whose stings deter elephants, in order to protect their valuable mango crop from being consumed (Source). Nonetheless, elephants find fallen, overripe mangoes to be a tasty treat and nutritional supplement to their herbivorous diets.

The Ecological Role ofMango-Eating Animals

Mangoes provide food and habitat for a variety of animal species across their native and introduced ranges. As a result, mango-eating animals play an important ecological role in seed dispersal, pollination, and pest control in mango orchards and forests where the trees grow.

Mammals including monkeys, bats, civets, squirrels, and some rodent species are significant mango seed dispersers. They consume the sweet mango fruit and then deposit the indigestible seed in a new location through their feces.

This aids the propagation of new mango trees and maintains genetic diversity.

Bats such as Eonycteris spelaea in Asia are essential pollinators of mango flowers. As bats drink the nectar from mangoes’ small, sweet-smelling flowers, pollen sticks to their fur and travels to other blossoms, resulting in pollination.

Studies show orchards frequented by bats produce significantly more mangoes than those without bat activity.

Insects including fruit flies, moths, and beetles assist in mango cultivation through pest control. They feed on mango pests such as fruit flies, mango shoot caterpillars, and mango-infesting beetles. This helps reduce loss of crop yield and income for mango farmers.

Key Mango-Eating Animal Species

  • Monkeys – Pig-tailed macaques, long-tailed macaques, and other monkey species relish mangoes. Their excellent climbing ability allows them to access even the highest fruit. Monkeys are prolific dispersers, quickly scattering discarded mango seeds.
  • Bats – As mentioned, fruit bats like the Dawn bat pollinate mango blossoms. They may also eat fallen, overripe mangoes.
  • Squirrels – Squirrels nibble on young, unripe mangoes and bury mature fallen fruit to access the seed and eat it later. Giant squirrels are especially efficient mango seed dispersers.
  • Civets – Common palm civets dine extensively on mangoes. Studies show nearly a quarter of their diet during mango season may consist of the juicy fruit.
  • Rodents – Rats, mice, and other rodents gather and hoard fallen mangoes. They consume mango flesh and often hide or lose seeds rather than digesting them.
  • Insects – As mentioned, fruit flies, moths such as the mango fruit borer, and beetles like weevils and Click beetles all feed on mango pests.

Loss of native mango-eating species could significantly damage ecological health in regions where mangoes are cultivated. When fruit orchards expand into wild habitats, the animals that co-evolved to eat and spread mango seeds often perish.

Replanting initiatives provide food for wildlife and support diverse ecosystems.


In conclusion, mangoes are a key food source for various mammals, birds, and insects in tropical regions where mango trees grow. By eating the fruit and dispersing the seeds, these creatures help propagate mango forests and maintain biodiversity.

Monkeys, bats, squirrels, and birds like parrots and hornbills are the primary animals that seek out mangoes to eat. Their frugivorous diets and seed dispersing behaviors are crucial to the ongoing survival of mango trees in the wild.

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