Monday, April 24, 2017

[Mammalogy • 2017] Sturnira adrianae • A New Polytypic Species of Yellow-shouldered Bats, Genus Sturnira (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae), from the Andean and Coastal Mountain Systems of Venezuela and Colombia

Sturnira adrianae adrianae 
Molinari, Bustos, Burneo, Camacho, Moreno & Fermin, 2017

Photo: Jesús Molinari  

Sturnira is the most speciose genus of New World leaf-nosed bats (Phyllostomidae). We name Sturnira adrianae, new species. This taxon is born polytypic, divided into a larger subspecies (S. a. adrianae) widespread in the mountains of northern and western Venezuela, and northern Colombia, and a smaller subspecies (S. a. caripana) endemic to the mountains of northeastern Venezuela. The new species inhabits evergreen, deciduous, and cloud forests at mainly medium (1000–2000 m) elevations. It has long been confused with S. ludovici, but it is more closely related to S. oporaphilum. It can be distinguished from other species of Sturnira by genetic data, and based on discrete and continuously varying characters. Within the genus, the new species belongs to a clade that also includes S. oporaphilum, S. ludovici, S. hondurensis, and S. burtonlimi. The larger new subspecies is the largest member of this clade. The two new subspecies are the most sexually dimorphic members of this clade. The smaller new subspecies is restricted to small mountain systems undergoing severe deforestation processes, therefore can be assigned to the Vulnerable (VU) conservation category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Keywords: Mammalia, Andes, evolutionary species concept, geographic variation, morphometrics, sexual dimorphism

Sturnira adrianae adrianae, the larger and more widespread of the newly described Sturnira adrianae subspecies.
Photo: Jesús Molinari  

• Sturnira adrianae new species 
• Sturnira adrianae adrianae new subspecies 
Adriana’s Yellow-shouldered Bat 
Murciélago de Charreteras de Adriana

Diagnosis. Epaulettes (yellow shoulders) present. Lower molars with continuous lingual cusps. All four lower incisors well developed, bilobed. Upper middle incisor long, bilobed, pointed, strikingly protrudent, tip laterally diverging. Lower canine long, narrow. Upper premolars broad and long in labial view. Molars with no gaps between them. Zygomatic arch complete, not bowed outwards. Occiput low. Preorbital frontal ridges well developed. Foramen ovale touching the caudal pterygoid process.

 Distribution. Known from all the Andean and coastal mountain systems of Venezuela, except those east of the Unare Depression. Presumably, also distributed throughout the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia ..... 

Etymology. The epithet adrianae, a feminine noun in the genitive case, is dedicated to the memory of the Colombian-Venezuelan bat biologist, Adriana Ruiz, 1971–2012. Adriana was a charismatic, imaginative, and dedicated colleague. She published 14 papers and book chapters. Owing to her untimely departure, much of her most valuable research was left unpublished. Adriana had a particularly keen interest in species of Sturnira. We are privileged to name after her a member of the genus wandering in the environments in which she so joyfully conducted much of her field work.

• Sturnira adrianae caripana new subspecies 
Caripe Yellow-shouldered Bat 
Murciélago de Charreteras de Caripe
Diagnosis. Identical to that of S. a. adrianae, except for: 1) upper premolars narrower and shorter in labial view; 2) preorbital frontal ridges little developed; 3) foramen ovale not touching the caudal pterygoid process.

Distribution (Fig. 1). Known from four localities in the Turimiquire Massiff, and from two localities in the neighboring Paria Peninsula (Appendix). Presumably, endemic to the mountain ranges of northeastern Venezuela, east of the Unare Depression. 

Etymology. The epithet caripana [Carip(e) + -ana], a feminine adjectival toponym, is derived from Caripe, a town near the type locality made known to science in the book “Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of America, During the Years 1799–1804”, of the famous German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

 Jesús Molinari, Xiomar E. Bustos, Santiago F. Burneo, M. A. Camacho, S. A. Moreno & Gustavo Fermin. 2017. A New Polytypic Species of Yellow-shouldered Bats, Genus Sturnira (Mammalia: Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae), from the Andean and Coastal Mountain Systems of Venezuela and Colombia.   Zootaxa. 4243(1); 75–96.   DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4243.1.3

New leaf-nosed bat uncovered amidst burning habitat in Venezuela via @mongabay

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