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The unexpected one: A new pale nectar-feeding bat species found in brazil

Date:
July 22, 2015
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
Having been long-mistaken for one of its relatives, a new bat species, L. inexpectata, has been now discovered. With their unusually pale fur, peculiar skull shape and tooth morphology, the specimens had spent long years in some of the most reputed nature museums behind the wrong sign, expert say.
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L. inexpectata (above) was compared with L. mordax (bottom) bat species.
Credit: Dr. Ricardo Moratelli

A new species of nectar-feeding bat from Brazil was discovered unexpectedly amid a research into the whole genus of Lonchophylla. The study is available in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

During their study Drs. Ricardo Moratelli and Daniela Dias found that some of the specimens had their ventral (abdominal) fur considerably paler and some of their measurements were inconsistent with those of the type material of L. mordax, which species they had previously been confused with. To their surprise, a closer look revealed that this was indeed a completely different species, previously unknown to science.

The new species was named L. inexpectata -- inspired by the surprise element in this new discovery. Using specimens from all currently recognised Brazilian representative of the Lonchophylla genus, the scientists concluded that what they had thought a mere variation of the colouring, is in fact one of the species' distinguishable characteristics. Others include differences in the skull and the teeth morphology.

Specimens from the 'unexpected' bat species had been misidentified for more than a century, the scientists point out.

Vouchers used in the research are currently being preserved in a number of the world's most reputable collections, including those in the American Museum of Natural History, London's Natural History Museum, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Brazil's Museu Nacional.


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Journal Reference:

  1. Ricardo Moratelli, Daniela Dias. A new species of nectar-feeding bat, genus Lonchophylla, from the Caatinga of Brazil (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae). ZooKeys, 2015; 514: 73 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.514.10013

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Pensoft Publishers. "The unexpected one: A new pale nectar-feeding bat species found in brazil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115626.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2015, July 22). The unexpected one: A new pale nectar-feeding bat species found in brazil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115626.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "The unexpected one: A new pale nectar-feeding bat species found in brazil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150722115626.htm (accessed May 8, 2017).