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1 December 2007 A New Species of Barbastella (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from North China
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Abstract

A new species of Barbastella is described, originally discovered in 2001 in Beijing, northern China. The description of the new species is based on both morphological and molecular data. The morphology of the skull and ears of the new bat is more similar to that of the Egyptian barbastelle (B. leucomelas) and B. barbastellus distributed in Europe than to B. leucomelas found in southern China and Taiwan. Projections and notches occur along the posterior margin of each ear, and a small lobe (vaulted process) protrudes from the middle outer edge of each pinna. The skull and body size of the new species are larger than in B. leucomelas. Echolocation calls were of 2 types, a brief frequency-modulated call that was alternated with longer calls with a convex frequency–time course. The calls were very similar to those of B. barbastellus recorded in Europe, although they may be slightly lower in frequency. Molecular phylogenies were reconstructed from cytochrome-b (Cytb) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) gene sequences. Cladograms of ND1 indicated that barbastelles from the Beijing area form a monophyletic group, which is the sister to B. leucomelas from Egypt. The clade including the new species and Egyptian barbastelle clusters with B. barbastellus, but not with B. leucomelas from Sichuan, Taiwan, and Japan. The genetic distances (corrected Kimura 2-parameter) between Barbastella sp. nov. and most bats from other localities (including all B. barbastellus) were 14.31–17.69% at the ND1 gene and 15.01–17.36% at the Cytb gene. However, ND1 divergence is 12.79% between Barbastella sp. nov. and B. leucomelas from Egypt. All these results support the hypothesis that the barbastelle from Beijing is a new species. Additionally, because Egypt is the type locality of B. leucomelas, the paraphyletic nature of B. leucomelas suggests that barbastelles from Sichuan, Taiwan, and Japan—which are currently classified as B. leucomelas darjelingensis—should not be considered conspecific with B. leucomelas.

Jin-Shuo Zhang, Nai-Jian Han, Gareth Jones, Liang-Kong Lin, Jun-Peng Zhang, Guan-Jian Zhu, Da-Wei Huang, and Shu-Yi Zhang "A New Species of Barbastella (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from North China," Journal of Mammalogy 88(6), 1393-1403, (1 December 2007). https://doi.org/10.1644/07-MAMM-A-114R2.1
Accepted: 1 August 2007; Published: 1 December 2007
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