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A new species of Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from the northwestern slope of the Andes

  • Daniela Arenas-Viveros ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Pamela Sánchez-Vendizú , Alan Giraldo ORCID logo and Jorge Salazar-Bravo ORCID logo
From the journal Mammalia


The systematics and taxonomy of the broadly distributed bats of the genus Cynomops has changed considerably in the last few years. Among the major changes, Cynomops abrasus was split into two species of large-bodied forms (Cynomops mastivus and C. abrasus) distributed east of the Andes. However, large Colombian specimens identified as C. abrasus from the western side of the Andes had yet to be included in any revisionary work. Phylogenetic analysis performed in this study, using mtDNA sequences (Cytochrome-b), revealed that these Colombian individuals are more closely related to Cynomops greenhalli. Morphological and molecular data allowed us to recognize populations from western Colombia, western Ecuador and northwestern Peru, as members of a new species of Cynomops. Characters that allow for its differentiation from C. greenhalli include a larger forearm, paler but more uniform ventral pelage, more globular braincase, and well-developed zygomatic processes of the maxilla (almost reaching the postorbital constriction). This study serves as another example of the importance of including multiple lines of evidence in the recognition of a new species. Given its rarity and the advanced transformation of its habitat, this new species is particularly important from a conservation perspective.

Corresponding author: Daniela Arenas-Viveros, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, 2901 Main St, Lubbock, TX79401, USA, E-mail:


The authors would like to give special thanks to Dr. Juan Pablo Carrera and Mr. Fernando Salazar Miralles, who took the time to measure the specimens deposited in Ecuadorian museums. Dr. Ligiane M. Moras, Leonardo Alava, and Ana Lucia Pilatasig shared information that was crucial to complete this study. We would also like to thank all the museum collection staff that facilitated specimen’s loans and museum visits: O. E. Murillo (UV), S. F. Burneo (QCAZ), V. Pacheco (MUSM), J. Salas (MUGM), R. Bradley (TTU), B. Patterson (FMNH), N. Simmons (AMNH), M. Efler (KU), D. Lunde (USNM), J. Esselstyn (LSUMZ), and B. Lim (ROM).

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2020-06-01
Accepted: 2021-01-07
Published Online: 2021-02-23
Published in Print: 2021-05-26

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