Thursday, April 11, 2013

[Mammalogy • 2013] Niumbaha superba • A new genus for a rare African vespertilionid bat: insights from South Sudan

Niumbaha superba
photo: DeeAnn Reeder/Bucknell University.

Figure 2. Photographs of Niumbaha superba live and as a freshly prepared specimen.
Top photos show profile and anterior view, with ventral and dorsal images below.


A new genus is proposed for the strikingly patterned African vespertilionid “Glauconycterissuperba Hayman, 1939 on the basis of cranial and external morphological comparisons. A review of the attributes of a newly collected specimen from South Sudan (a new country record) and other museum specimens of “G.superba suggests that “G.” superba is markedly distinct ecomorphologically from other species classified in Glauconycteris and is likely the sister taxon to Glauconycteris sensu stricto. The recent capture of this rarely collected but widespread bat highlights the need for continued research in tropical sub-Saharan Africa and in particular, for more work in western South Sudan, which has received very little scientific attention. New country records for G. cf. poensis (South Sudan) and G. curryae (Gabon) are also reported.

Keywords: Glauconycteris superba, Glauconycteris poensis, Glauconycteris curryae, Niumbaha gen. nov., Badger Bat, South Sudan, Description


Niumbaha Reeder, Helgen, Vodzak, Lunde & Ejotre gen. n.

Etymology: The name is the Zande word for ‘rare/unusual’. This name was chosen because of the rarity of capture for this genus, despite its wide distribution throughout West and Central Africa, and for the unusual and striking appearance of this bat. Zande is the language of the Azande people, who are the primary ethnic group in Western Equatoria State in South Sudan (where our recent specimen was collected). The homeland of the Azande extends westwards into Democratic Republic of the Congo, where superba has also been collected (the holotype and another recent capture), and into southeastern Central African Republic. Gender: feminine.
Type species: Glauconycteris superba Hayman, 1939; by monotypy.

Striped like a badger - new genus of bat identified in South Sudan
The rare specimen was discovered by researchers from Bucknell University and Fauna & Flora International while conducting field research with wildlife authorities in South Sudan

Reeder DM, Helgen KM, Vodzak ME, Lunde DP, Ejotre I. 2013. A new genus for a rare African vespertilionid bat: insights from South Sudan. ZooKeys. 285: 89–115. doi: