21 February 2019 – A new bat species in Morocco

Juste et al. (2019) have described a new bat from Morocco: Myotis zeniatus.

‘The species Myotis zenatius sp. nov. is probably endemic from the Mediterranean region of Morocco and Algeria, and possibly Tunisia. In Morocco it is very rare, known only from three localities in the central part and western coast (Benda et al. 2004), and from one locality in the hills of Rekkam, in the eastern part of the country (Dieuleveut et al. 2010).

We add in this study three new localities plus another one in Azrou (Ait-Sebaa) where six additional individuals were biopsied and released. The species is thus rare but widely distributed across Morocco from the northern slopes of the Rif (near Tetouan) to the dry mountains of the Great Atlas (e.g. Wintimdouine Cave). The Atlas Mountains apparently delineate two distinct haplogroups (Salicini et al., 2013) that may represent distinct subpopulations. We can assume that the Algerian populations previously classified as M. nattereri (see e.g., Kowalski and Rzebik-Kowalska 1991) represent M. zenatius sp. nov., given that the distance between the easternmost known locality from Morocco (Rekkam Hills — Dieuleveut et al. 2010) is only around 200 km far from the westernmost known locality from Algeria (near Tlemcen – Kowalski et al. 1986). The new species occurs in the northern parts of Algeria, where it is known only from three localities (Kowalski and Rzebik-Kowalska 1991; Ahmim 2017). As no specimen from this country has been analysed genetically, it is however unknown to which extent these represent interconnected or isolated subpopulations.

Juste, J., Ruedi, M., Puechmaille, S.J., Salicini, I. and Ibanez, C. 2018. Two new cryptic bat species within the Myotis nattereri species complex (Vespertilionidae, Chiroptera) from the Western palaearctic. Acta Chiropterologica 20 (2): 285–300.

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *