Lying forgotten in museum collections two new species of yellow-shouldered bats have been unearthed by scientists at the American Museum of New York and The Field Museum of Natural History and described in the open access journal ZooKeys.
These two new additions to the genus Sturnira are part of a recent discovery of three bats hidden away in collections around the world, the third one still waiting to be officially announced.
Up until recently the genus Sturnira was believed to contain only 14 species. In the last years closer morphological and molecular analysis have revealed an unexpected species richness in the genus. Sturnira now includes 22 described species, making it the most speciose genus in the Neotropical bat family Phyllostomidae.
Phyllostomidae, or the New World leaf-nosed bats are exclusively found in the biodiversity rich tropical areas of Central and South America. Both the scientific and common names of these bats refer to their often large, lance-shaped noseleaves. Because these bats use echolocation to orientate in the darkness the "nose-leaf" is thought to serve some role in fine-tuning their call.
All species in the yellow-shouldered genus Sturnira are frugivorous which means they feed largely on fruit. They are endemic to the Neotropics where they inhabit tropical lowland and montane forests. In fact the greatest diversity in the genus occurs on the elevated forested slopes of the Andes where at least 11 species occur.
The two newly described species, Sturnira bakeri and Sturnira burtonlimi occur in western Ecuador and in Costa Rica and Panama. The reason why they went unrecognized in collections is a superficial resemblance with other species in the genus, most of which were described without adequate illustrations to communicate identifying characteristics. Only after an in-depth molecular analysis that included over 100 samples from most of the species of the genus could the new species be identified. "Modern electronic publications like ZooKeys permit extensive and detailed color photography to accompany taxonomic descriptions. Any reader can easily and clearly appreciate the character states we use to distinguish these new taxa" said co-author Bruce Patterson.
Velazco PM, Patterson BD (2014) Two new species of yellow-shouldered bats, genus Sturnira Gray, 1842 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae) from Costa Rica, Panama and western Ecuador. ZooKeys 402: 43-66. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.402.7228
Paúl M. Velazco | Eurek Alert!
New study reveals what's behind a tarantula's blue hue
01.12.2015 | University of California - San Diego
Tracing a path toward neuronal cell death
01.12.2015 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Chemical weathering of rocks over geological time scales is an important control on the stability of the climate. This weathering is, in turn, highly dependent...
Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make “sounds” on their own, essentially “practicing” their ability to process sounds in the world around them.
The researchers, who describe their experiments in the Dec. 3 edition of the journal Cell, show how hair cells in the inner ear can be activated in the absence...
Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.
Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...
The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...
Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.
In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...
01.12.2015 | Event News
30.11.2015 | Event News
25.11.2015 | Event News
01.12.2015 | Earth Sciences
01.12.2015 | Life Sciences
01.12.2015 | Earth Sciences