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2011 | 13 | 1 |

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Toward a Molecular Phylogeny for the Molossidae (Chiroptera) of the Afro-Malagasy Regionno access

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We present phylogenetic information based on nuclear Rag2 and mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence data for six genera of Molossidae (Chaerephon, Mops, Mormopterus, Otomops, Sauromys, Tadarida) and 18 species, primarily from Africa and the Malagasy region (Madagascar and neighbouring islands), and further include sequences of 12 New World and African taxa sourced from GenBank. There is strong support for the monophyly of the Molossidae included in this study. The Malagasy region taxa Mormopterus jugularis and M. francoismoutoui are supported as a basal clade with an age of≈ 31.2 MYR, and are not monophyletic with the South American M. kalinowskii. Asian Otomops wroughtoni and O. formosus and Afro-Malagasy O. martiensseni and O. madagascariensis form a strongly-supported ≈19.8 MYR-old clade, whose broader relationships among Molossidae are not clearly defined. There is strong support for a ≈ 17.2 MYR-old combined Chaerephon/Mops clade, in which members of these genera show some paraphyly. The monophyly of the genus Tadarida, represented in our analyses by T. brasiliensis from the New World and T.fulminans, T. aegyptiaca and T. teniotis from the Old World, is not upheld, although there is good support for a geographicallydisjunct ≈ 9.8 MYR-old grouping which includes C. jobimena (Madagascar), T. aegyptiaca (Africa) and T. brasiliensis (America). Sauromys is maintained as a monotypic genus, although there is moderate support for its association with T. fulminans and the Chaerephon!Mops clade, the latter of which comprises M. midas, M. leucostigma, M. condylurus, M. bakarii, C. pumilus, C. pusillus, C. leucogaster and C. atsinanana. An ≈ 8.4 MYR-old New World clade comprising representatives of Eumops, Nyctinomops and Molossus was well-supported.

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  • University of KwaZulu-Natal, University Road, Westville, KwaZulu-Natal 3630, Republic of South Africa


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