London: A new study has show that female short-nosed fruit bats perform fellatio on their partners during copulation.
The study also revealed that mating pairs spent more time copulating if the female did so.
Fellatio, also called fellation, is oral sex performed upon the penis, reports New Scientist.
Min Tan of the Guangdong Entomological Institute in Guangzhou, China, conducted the study on short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx, found in south-east Asia.
They captured 30 male and 30 female bats in Yuexiu Park in Guangzhou City and observed their mating behaviour in enclosures.
The researchers found that the bats copulate dorso-ventrally, with the male mounting the female from behind.
During mating, the females reached over to lick the base of the male``s penis in 14 of the 20 pairs that copulated, they found.
The tip of the penis had already penetrated the female``s vagina, and the males did not withdraw when the female licked the base of the penis.
The researchers observed that both the duration of an individual copulation, and the overall time a mating pair spent copulating, were increased if the female performed fellatio.
The study has been published in the journal PLoS One.