Distribution and taxonomy of the common big-eared bat Micronycteris microtis (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in South America

Ligiane Martins Moras 1 , Augusto Milagres e Gomes 2  and Valéria da Cunha Tavares 3
  • 1 Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Cx. Postal 486, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 2 Departamento de Biologia Geral, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Cx. Postal 486, CEP 31270-901, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 3 Programa de Pós Graduação em Genética, Conservação e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Cx. Postal 2223, CEP 69080-971, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil
Ligiane Martins Moras, Augusto Milagres e Gomes and Valéria da Cunha Tavares


Understanding the distribution of the common big-eared bat Micronycteris microtis has been constrained by difficulties in mapping characters that securely differentiate it from its congener, Micronycteris megalotis. We studied individuals of dark-bellied Micronycteris from several localities in northern and southeastern Brazil and tested the consistency of characters traditionally used in their differentiation. Characters that separate M.microtis from M.megalotis are the ear length, the fur at the leading edge of the pinna length, and the dorsal fur length. On the basis of our revised identifications, we confirm the occurrence of M. microtis in southeastern Brazil, and provide new records from localities nested in the Cerrado/Atlantic forest transition area of the state of Minas Gerais, and in the Amazonian forests of the northeastern and northwestern, states of Pará and Rondônia. M. microtis is now known to occur sympatrically with M. megalotis in four Amazonian localities. M. microtis used iron ore caves from Carajás, Pará, northern Brazil, and the Serra da Moeda and Serra do Rola Moça State Park, Minas Gerais, southern Brazil, whereas sympatric M. megalotis did not in both locations. Moreover, M. microtis from the lower Xingu River used small caves formed by rock outcrops to roost.

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Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.