Wednesday, September 20, 2017

[Mammalogy • 2017] Murina hkakaboraziensis • A New Species of Murina (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Sub-Himalayan Forests of northern Myanmar


Murina hkakaboraziensis
Soisook, Thaw, Kyaw, Oo, Pimsai, Suarez-Rubio & Renner, 2017

ค้างคาวจมูกหลอดคากาโบราซี || Hkakabo Razi Tube-nosed Bat || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4320.1.9

Abstract

A new species of Murina of the suilla-type is described from the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Kachin, Upper Myanmar, an area that is currently being nominated as a World Heritage Site. The new species is a small vespertilionid, with a forearm length of 29.6 mm, and is very similar to M. kontumensis, which was recently described from Vietnam. However, it is distinguishable by a combination of external and craniodental morphology and genetics. The DNA Barcode reveals that the new species clusters sisterly to M. kontumensis but with a genetic distance of 11.5%. A single known specimen of the new species was collected from a lowland forest area in the plains of the Hkakabo Razi landscape, south-eastern Himalaya. Additional information on ecology, echolocation, and conservation are included. The high cryptic diversity of the genus Murina in Southeast Asia, as well as the Hkakabo Razi Landscape being a bat diversity hotspot, is highlighted.

Keywords:  Mammalia, cryptic species, Hkakabo Razi, Myanmar, new species, Southeast Asia


FIGURE 1. The appearance of the face, ear and pelage (a), dorsal pelage (b), and ventral pelage (c) of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., ♂PS160218.6, holotype, from Kachin, Myanmar.


Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov. 

Etymology. The species is named after the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, where the only known specimen was collected. The proposed English name is ‘Hkakabo Razi Tube-nosed Bat

Ecology and distribution. The new species, M. hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., was collected in a mist net set at the edge of a lowland semi-evergreen forest at the transition zone to an open space grassland, which undergoes an annual burn (Fig. 5). The new species was the only bat captured in the mist net. However, on the same night, four other insectivorous bats, Rhinolophus affinis, R. pusillus, Aselliscus stoliczkanus and Hipposideros pomona were captured in nearby mist nets and harp traps. Four other vespertilionids, M. cyclotis, M. feae, M. cf. eleryi, Kerivoula hardwickii, and K. furva were also captured in the same area on other nights. Currently, the new species is only known from the holotype collected from the type locality in the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Kachin, northern Myanmar.

Discussion:
The discovery of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov., as well as a recently described Kerivoula furva (Kuo et al. 2017), indicates that the Hkakabo Razi Landscape is extremely understudied in terms of bats. Based only on a single scientific expedition in 2016, 37 species of bats were recorded from HRL (P. Soisook, unpublished data) representing approximately 40% of bats in Myanmar. Nevertheless, the 2016 expedition focused only on a limited geographical area and elevation of the HRL. Future surveys to cover the variety of habitats, particularly at the higher elevations, would be of interest. 

The vespertilionid community in the HRL appears to be a geographical connection and a unique mix of species those found widespread in the Indochinese Region (e.g. M. cyclotis, M. feae, M. cf. eleryi, K. kachinensis, K. hardwickii, and K. furva), and those from the Indian Region (e.g. M. cf. jaintiana, M. cf. pluvialis). It indicates the importance of primary forests, and ongoing biogeographical processes of the HRL, underlining the significance of Myanmar’s endeavour to nominate the area as a Natural World Heritage Site. 

FIGURE 5. The edge of a lowland semi-evergreen forest at the transition zone to an open space grassland where the specimen of Murina hkakaboraziensis sp. nov. was captured. Photograph by Sai Sein Lin Oo.


Pipat Soisook, Win Naing Thaw, Myint Kyaw, Sai Sein Lin Oo, Awatsaya Pimsai, Marcela Suarez-Rubio and Swen C. Renner. 2017. A New Species of Murina (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from sub-Himalayan Forests of northern Myanmar.   Zootaxa. 4320(1); 159–172. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4320.1.9
Hao-Chih Kuo, Pipat Soisook, Ying-Yi Ho, Gabor Csorba, Chun-Neng Wang and Stephen J. Rossiter. 2017. A Taxonomic Revision of the Kerivoula hardwickii complex (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with the Description of A New Species.   Acta Chiropterologica. 19(1); 19-39.  DOI: 10.3161/15081109ACC2017.19.1.002

     

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