Fauna of the Kuril Islands is understood insufficiently; in particular, the distribution and taxonomic relationships of bats in this territory are definitely understudied. Long-eared bats (Plecotus spp.) were first captured on the island of Urup during an expedition organized by the Russian Geographical Society in 2019. This capture became the first record of an indigenous land mammal on this island. Based on the peculiarities of geography, we assumed that the Japanese species P. sacrimontis would live on the Urup and Iturup Islands, as well as on the neighbouring Kunashir. However, a morphometric analysis of skull measurements and an analysis of the mitochondrial cytb gene show that long-eared bats from these two islands belong to the mainland species P. ognevi. This unexpected result raises questions regarding the postglacial history of the invasion of the long-eared bats to the islands, which probably occurred in two stages, and the taxonomic relationship between P. sacrimontis and P. ognevi.
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Vol. 46 • No. 1