How do we identify Micronycteris sanborni Simmons, 1996 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae) reliably and where we can find this species in South America?

Anderson Feijó, Patricio Adriano Rocha, Stephen F Ferrari


Micronycteris is divided into four subgenera, Micronycteris, Leuconycteris, Xenoctenes, and Schizonycteris. The latter includes Micronycteris (Schizonycteris) minuta, Micronycteris (S.) schmidtorum, Micronycteris (S.) sanborni and Micronycteris (S.) yatesi. Little is known of the biology of M. (S.) sanborni, which is widely distributed in the dry forests of South America, but is known from only few sites. The scarcity of records of M. sanborni appears to be at least partly related to the difficulty of differentiating this species from the other members of the subgenus Schizonycteris. The present study identifies the key traits that distinguish this species from other Schizonycteris, reviews the geographic distribution of the species, and presents some notes on breeding patterns. Six new localities are presented for M. sanborni, and are analyzed together with those available in the literature, providing new insights into ecological and zoogeographic patterns. A number of the diagnostic features established by Simmons (1996) in the description of M. sanborni proved to have little taxonomic value, especially for the differentiation of M. minuta and M. yatesi, which it closely resembles. The primary external difference is the pure white color of the ventral pelage and the proportion of the white base (2/3-4/5) of the dorsal hair in M. sanborni, in contrast with dirty white or pale gray and a much shorter white base of the dorsal hair in the other species. A number of cranial traits are also important. The distributional data now indicate that M. sanborni occurs mainly in mesic and open areas, including disturbed habitats, in the Caatinga scrublands and the Cerrado savannas of northeastern Brazil, especially in areas with rocky outcrops. Micronycteris sanborni appears to be monoestrous, with births coinciding with the rainy season.


Schizonycteris, Intraspecific variation, Dry forest, Brazil, Chiroptera

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