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Journal of Mammalogy 86(6)

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Subject: Journal of Mammalogy 86(6)
From: "Brian R. Mitchell" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Dec 2005 16:53:46 EST
The following bioacoustics articles were in the latest issue of the Journal of 
Mammalogy. Members of Bioacoustics-L can download them at

Avila-Flores, Rafael, and M. Brock Fenton. 2005. Use of spatial features by 
foraging insectivorous bats in a large urban landscape. Journal of Mammalogy 

We analyzed the patterns of habitat use by insectivorous bats in Mexico City, 
one of the largest and most populated cities of the world. We tested the 
hypotheses that richer patches of food, expected in more vegetated areas, have 
higher bat activity levels, and that fast-flying species benefit most from 
urbanization. We compared activity of insectivorous species and relative 
abundance of insects in 5 habitats (large parks, small parks, illuminated open 
areas, residential areas, and natural forest). Sampling of bat activity and 
insects was conducted every 2 weeks in 12 sites per habitat during summer 2002. 
Measures of bat activity were based on 3,600 one minute sequences of sound that 
were recorded and analyzed. The average number of taxa per site was 
significantly higher in the natural forest than in urban habitats, but overall 
bat activity was significantly higher in large parks and illuminated open areas 
than in small parks, residential areas and natural forest. Vespertili
onid bats (Eptesicus fuscus, Myotis, and an unidentified species), along with 
Eumops perotis, occurred almost exclusively in extensive green areas (large 
parks or natural forest). The molossid Nyctinomops macrotis made the broadest 
use of the urban-natural mosaic, whereas Tadarida brasiliensis used urban sites 
(illuminated areas and large parks) more intensively. Insect abundance was 
higher in large parks and natural forest, and it was significantly correlated 
with overall bat activity and with the number of taxa recorded per site. The 
observed patterns of habitat use and foraging can be explained by considering 
the flight and echolocation performance of species. Although some species 
successfully exploited highly urbanized sites, large areas with vegetation are 
needed to maintain the most diverse insectivorous bat fauna in Mexico City.

Miller-Butterworth, Cassandra M., Geeta Eick, David S. Jacobs, M. Corrie 
Schoeman, and Eric H. Harley. 2005. Genetic and phenotypic differences between 
South African long-fingered bats, with a global miniopterine phylogeny. Journal 
of Mammalogy 86(6): 1121-1135.

The Natal long-fingered bat (Miniopterus natalensis) and lesser long-fingered 
bat (M. fraterculus) are morphologically almost indistinguishable and occur 
sympatrically over much of their southern African range. This raises the 
possibility that they are sister taxa. We employed a multidisciplinary approach 
to examine their taxonomic relationship to one another and to other Miniopterus 
species, whose global phylogeny requires review. We examined echolocation, 
morphological, and dietary differences between M. natalensis and M. 
fraterculus, as well as both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA variation between 
them in the context of a phylogeny incorporating 13 Miniopterus species and 
subspecies. Despite similarities in their morphology and distribution, M. 
natalensis and M. fraterculus echolocate at peak frequencies separated by 12 
kHz, and both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers confirm they are distinct 
species. Analysis of cytochrome-b (Cytb) sequences further indicates that M. 
fraterculus and M. natalensis are not sister taxa; M. fraterculus appears to be 
more closely related to the greater long-fingered bat (M. inflatus). 
Examination of the global taxonomy of Miniopterus confirms that Schreibers?s 
long-fingered bat (M. schreibersii) forms a paraphyletic species complex. 
Furthermore, the miniopterine bats are divided into 2 geographically isolated 
monophyletic groups, one containing African and European species, and the other 
taxa from Australasia and Asia. Cytb sequence divergence also suggests that M. 
natalensis is distinct from the European M. schreibersii. These results support 
the elevation of M. natalensis to full species rank.

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