Sunday, April 18, 2021

[Mammalogy • 2021] Cynomops kuizha • A New Species of Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from the northwestern Slope of the Andes

Cynomops kuizha
Arenas-Viveros, Sánchez-Vendizú, Giraldo & Salazar-Bravo. 2021

The systematics and taxonomy of the broadly distributed bats of the genus Cynomops has changed considerably in the last few years. Among the major changes, Cynomops abrasus was split into two species of large-bodied forms (Cynomops mastivus and C. abrasus) distributed east of the Andes. However, large Colombian specimens identified as C. abrasus from the western side of the Andes had yet to be included in any revisionary work. Phylogenetic analysis performed in this study, using mtDNA sequences (Cytochrome-b), revealed that these Colombian individuals are more closely related to Cynomops greenhalli. Morphological and molecular data allowed us to recognize populations from western Colombia, western Ecuador and northwestern Peru, as members of a new species of Cynomops. Characters that allow for its differentiation from C. greenhalli include a larger forearm, paler but more uniform ventral pelage, more globular braincase, and well-developed zygomatic processes of the maxilla (almost reaching the postorbital constriction). This study serves as another example of the importance of including multiple lines of evidence in the recognition of a new species. Given its rarity and the advanced transformation of its habitat, this new species is particularly important from a conservation perspective.

Keywords: dog-faced bat; integrative taxonomy; South America; western Andes

Cynomops kuizha sp. nov. (UV 14608).

Family Molossidae

Genus Cynomops Thomas, 1920

Cynomops kuizha 

Molossops brachymeles: Alberico and Naranjo 1982: 141 part, not Peters 1866.
Molossops abrasus: Alberico et al. 2000: 56, Solari et al. 2013: 328, part, not Temminck 1826.
Cynomops greenhalli: Pacheco et al. 2009: 12, Tirira 2012: 222, part, not Goodwin 1958.

Etymology: Kuizha is the local Awapit word for “dog” (Ministerio de Educación 2009). As Cynomops are known as dog-faced bats, the use of this noun is meant as a celebration of the heritage of, and to honor, the Awa people. Long-time inhabitants of the Andes in current southwestern Colombia and northern Ecuador, the Awa people are inheritors of ancient knowledge and conservation allies of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Kuizha is treated here as a noun standing in apposition to the generic name.

Daniela Arenas-Viveros, Pamela Sánchez-Vendizú, Alan Giraldo and Jorge Salazar-Bravo. 2021. A New Species of Cynomops (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from the northwestern Slope of the Andes. Mammalia. DOI: 10.1515/mammalia-2020-0068