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2006 | 08 | 2 |

Tytuł artykułu

The type locality of Natalus stramineus (Chiroptera: Natalidae): implications for the taxonomy and biogeography of the genus Natalus


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The name Natalus stramineus has been historically applied to populations of the genus Natalus from virtually the entire Neotropics. The geographic origin of the holotype of N. stramineus, however, has never been known with certainty, confounding discussions concerning the species limits, nomenclature, and biogeography of this genus. The type locality of N. stramineus was assumed to be Brazil for about 80 years, but was later transferred to the Lesser Antilles. Although the later view has dominated the taxonomy of Natalus for the past four decades, there have been recent claims that the type locality might indeed be in Brazil. In this study, I provide morphological evidence that corroborates the Lesser Antillean origin of the holotype of N. stramineus. In addition, I argue that N. stramineus-like populations do not occur in northern South America implying that the genus Natalus is distributed throughout Central and South America as three allopatric taxa. The findings presented here prompt the recognition of two additional species for the continental Neotropics and put and end to lingering confusion about the degree of sympatry, or lack thereof, among these species. Finally, I summarize the available information about the natural history of N. stramineus, as herein restricted, and argue that the current distribution of the species is likely the result of ancestral dispersal from northern South America.

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  • Department of Mammalogy, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024, USA


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