The lowland Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil is well known for its biological diversity and numerous endemic taxa. Among bats collected recently at the Reserva Natural Vale and previously in the Floresta Nacional de Goytacazes, in the state of Espírito Santo, are specimens easily recognized as nectar-feeding glossophagines, but that exhibit a suite of morphological traits that preclude assignment to any of the 10 genera currently recognized in the subfamily Glossophaginae. Here we describe a new genus and species based on this material. This new taxon, named Dryadonycteris capixaba, is diagnosed based on both external and craniodental features, including traits not seen in other nectar-feeding phyllostomids, such as similar-sized calcar and foot and inflated maxillary bones. The combination of character states seen in Dryadonycteris suggests that it belongs in the Tribe Choeronycterini, subtribe Choeronycterina, but the mosaic nature of primitive and derived states seen in this taxon precludes easy assessment of its relationships to other choeronycterine genera. Future explicit phylogenetic analyses of morphological data and DNA sequencing studies will be necessary to resolve its phylogenetic position within Choeronycterini.
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Vol. 2012 • No. 3747