Monday, May 5, 2014

[Mammalogy • 2014] Miniopterus maghrebensis | Maghrebian Bent-wing Bat • A new species of the Miniopterus schreibersii species complex (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae) from the Maghreb Region, North Africa

Maghrebian Bent-wing Bat Miniopterus maghrebensis Puechmaille, Allegrini, Benda, Bilgin, Ibañez & Juste 2014

We used an integrative approach combining cranio-dental characters, mitochondrial and nuclear data and acoustic data to show the presence in the genus Miniopterus of a cryptic species from the Maghreb region. This species was previously recognised as Miniopterus schreibersii (Kuhl, 1817). Miniopterus maghrebensis sp. nov. can be differentiated from M. schreibersii sensu stricto on the basis of cranial characters and from mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite evidence. Although slight external morphological and acoustic differences were noted between the two species, these criteria alone did not allow reliable species identification from live animals. Based on the specimens identified morphologically and/or genetically, the distribution range of M. maghrebensis sp. nov. extends from northern Morocco to south of the High Atlas Mountains and northern Tunisia. The new cryptic species is found in sympatry with M. schreibersii s.str. near coastal regions of North Africa.

Keywords: Bats, cryptic species, echolocation, Mammalia, Morocco

FIGURE 2. Photographs of Miniopterus maghrebensis sp. nov. individuals from the type locality Kef Azigza Cave, showing the typical appearance of the species. Note that a) was photographed with day light and a flash while b) was photographed during night time with a flash, hence the apparent pelage colour differences (photographs by Jaroslav Červený & Antonín Reiter respectively).
FIGURE 10. Hypothetical distribution maps of Miniopterus maghrebensis sp. nov. and M. schreibersii s.str. (Kuhl, 1817). Sites with confirmed species identifications are: 1: Kef Azigza Cave (or Tazzouguert Cave); 2: Oued El Ammar, Sebt-es-Âït-Serhrouchèn; 3: Oued Tessaoud, Talknout; 4: Talmat; 5: Win-Timdouine & Oued Emi Oggoug; 6: Zaghouan mine; 7: Ichkeul National Park; 8: Iberia.

Etymology. The name maghrebensis refers to the region (the Maghreb; the region of northern Africa located between the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sahara) where the new species was discovered. The proposed vernacular names are Maghrebian Bent-wing Bat (English), Minioptère du Maghreb (French)

Puechmaille, Sebastien J., Benjamin Allegrini, Petr Benda, Kanat Gürün, Jan Šrámek, Carlos Ibañez, Javier Juste & Rasit Bilgin. 2014. A new species of the Miniopterus schreibersii species complex (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae) from the Maghreb Region, North Africa. Zootaxa. 3794(1): 108–124.