|Murina balaensis Soisook, Karapan, Satasook & Bates 2013|
Bala Tube-nosed Bat | ค้างคาวจมูกหลอดบาลา
A new species of Murina belonging to ‘suilla-group’ is described based on two specimens collected with harp traps in lowland evergreen forest in the southernmost part of peninsular Thailand. Morphology and molecular (mitochondrial COI) data suggest that the new species is most closely related to M. eleryi, which is currently known from Indochina. The new species, however, can be distinguished by the size and shape of the upper canine, the shape of the upper and lower premolars, and the colour of the ventral pelage. Additional data on bacular morphology, echolocation, ecology, and distribution are included.
Key words: Tube-nosed bat, new species, cryptic species, taxonomy, Thailand, Southeast Asia
Etymology: The name balaensis refers to the type locality, Bala Forest, from where the type specimen was collected. The proposed English name is Bala Tube-nosed bat.
Ecology and Distribution: M. balaensis was captured together with Hipposideros atrox Andersen, Kerivoula hardwickii Thomas, K. minuta Miller, K. pellucida Waterhouse and Murina suilla (Temminck). The general habitat of M. balaensis at HBWRS is lowland Malaysian-type evergreen rain forest. M. eleryi, however, has been found in a more heavily degraded habitat in limestone forests at an elevation over 500 m asl. (Furey et al., 2009).
So far, M. balaensis is known only from two specimens collected from the type locality. However, further field surveys using harp trap may extend its range, particularly in the lowland evergreen forest habitats of peninsular Malaysia.
Soisook, Pipat, Sunate Karapan, Chutamas Satasook & Paul J. J. Bates. 2013. A New Species of Murina (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Peninsular Thailand. Zootaxa. 3746(4): 567–579.