Printer Friendly

El murcielago grande de cola libre, Nyctinomops macrotis (Gray, 1839), en Centro America.

The big free-tailed bat, nyctinomops macrotis (gray, 1839), in central america

The distributional patterns of the Nyctinomops macrotis are generally well known: discontinuously distributed in a northern and southern range from the southwestern United States to northern Argentina. However, in recent years, range expansions have been reported to the known distribution of the species, in the northern range (Frick et al., 2008, 2009; Muniz-Martinez et al., 2003, Orozco-Lugo et al., 2014), but especially in the southern range (Fabian and Gregorin, 2007; Ojeda and Tabeni, 2009; Oprea et al., 2009; Cavallini Sanches et al., 2012; Talamoni et al., 2013; Hoppe et al., 2014; da Rocha et al., 2015), resulting in vastly expanded southern range since the relatively recent summary by Eger (2008).

Recent studies of bats in Central and South America, particularly insectivorous ones, similarly have resulted in novel records of occurrence, suggesting that much remains to be known regarding the presence, relative abundance, and other population aspects of several bat species (Kalko et al., 2008). Distributional data have been generated for several vespertilionid species and some molossids, the two most important families of insectivorous bats. For example, although Lasiurus egregius (see Ziegler et al., 2016) was known only from few individuals from Brazil, Guyana, and Panama, we now know that its distribution is wider and that it probably is not as rare as was assumed (Mora, 2012; Lopez-Baucells et al., 2014). Notwithstanding, there remains still a vast gap in our knowledge of the distribution range of many bat species: numerous species have been reported from two or more distant geographical areas without any records between known points of occurrence. As a result, many species' ranges of distribution remain incompletely understood.

Central America remains a vast distributional chasm between the northern and southern ranges of the distribution of N. macrotis (Fig. 1). Although broadly distributed, the species remains comparatively rare and little known. The purpose of this paper is to document the presence of N. macrotis in Central America, based on two recent records from Honduras.

Surveys of bats were conducted at San Marcos de Colon and El Corpus, southern Honduras at ca. 13[grados]23'06.1" N, 86[grados]57'53.1" W, 1082 m a.s.l. for 11 months during 2013-2015. The two areas together contain five wind power generation plants, hence they are of interest in terms of their effects on the bat fauna. We mist-netted bats five nights per month and in conjunction conducted acoustical surveys during every visit to the area. In parallel, we undertook standardized daytime searches for bat refuges, roosting sites and dead or injured bats. Specimens collected dead on the ground that were not severely damaged were preserved as vouchers. The research described above followed American Society of Mammalogists' guidelines (Sikes et al., 2011).

To assess the likelihood of finding N. macrotis elsewhere in Central America, we also analyzed the two capture sites' data using ecological niche modeling. The capture sites' latitude and longitude were georeferenced in ArcMap 10.2 (ESRI, 2013). We then retrieved 19 environmental variables available in WorldClim (Hijmans et al., 2005) and a total of 35 (including WorldClim's original 19) available in CliMond (Kriticos et al., 2012), together with elevation and vegetation, the latter derived from Data Basin (2014). The bioclimatic layers used represent a range of climate conditions including temperature, isothermy, seasonality, precipitation, solar radiation and moisture index. We used ArcMap 10.2 to mask the environmental layers to our spatially proscribed study area. We then used MaxEnt v. 3.3.3k (Phillips et al., 2006) to run the ecological niche models to estimate potential range, with probability of occurrence, based on the capture sites.

We collected two individuals of N. macrotis on 15 December 2014; one was captured at 13[grados]24'35.0" N, 86[grados]55'30.2" W (elevation: 1208 m); the other at 13[grados]26'08.8" N, 86[grados]55'08.5" W (1321 m; Fig. 1). Both individuals were males and are deposited in the Portland State University Museum of Vertebrate Biology (MVB). MVB 4962 and MVB 4963 were collected dead on the ground; each had a forearm broken that must be a result of bat accidents with aero generators. Measurements of both specimens agree with those previously reported for the species (Table 1). Both specimens similarly agree with the diagnostic morphological features generally ascribed to N. macrotis by Kumirai and Jones, 1990; Medellin et al., 1997; Eger, 2008; Hoppe et al., 2014; Da Rocha et al., 2015.

A comprehensive analysis of the area's bat fauna is forthcoming. In the interim, we report that the Nyctinomops were sampled in a bat fauna that included species (higher level classification for Phyllostomidae of Baker et al., 2016): Glossophaga leachii, G. commissarisi (Phyllostomidae: Glossophaginae), Micronycteris microtis (Phyllostomidae: Micronycterinae), Sturnira parvidens (Phyllostomidae: Stenodermatinae: Sturnirini), Artibeus lituratus, A. jamaicensis, A. tolteca, A. watsoni (Phyllostomidae: Stenodermatinae: Mesostenodermatini), and Chiroderma salvini (Phyllostomidae: Stenodermatinae: Stenodermatini). In addition, the presence of Desmodus rotundus (Phyllostomidae: Desmodontinae), and Cynomops mexicanus, Molossus molossus, and M. rufus (Molossidae) were confirmed by acoustical recordings.

After the ecological niche modeling (Fig. 2), using the two new sites of captures, the probability of occurrence of Nyctinomops macrotis throughout Central America only ranges from 0.0-0.6, with the sites of capture displaying the highest probability of occurrence, but only at 0.5-0.6. In addition, we hasten to point out that these analyses typically model the fundamental niche, whereas in nature, species will typically occupy a more geographically and ecologically restricted realized niche. Further, our analysis is based on presence only data, rather than including information on absence and abundance, which may bias the results with respect to the "real" distribution of a species (Anderson, 2012, 2015). We did not undertake a niche modelling assessment of the species throughout its full range, but we hypothesize based on our current results that: either the collected individuals were migrants or, that if they are resident, suitable habitat is extremely scant throughout the region, as determined by our analysis and the suggestion of a realized niche smaller than a fundamental niche, and the species therefore quite rare in Central America.

Nyctinomops macrotis has been detected in urban areas, dry forests, pine forests, and tropical evergreen forests depending on the geographic area. The species also has been reported from sea level up to 2600 m a.s.l. (Arita, 2005). Notwithstanding this broad distribution, the species is not commonly detected in the course of bat surveys (Hoppe et al., 2014) although some authors hypothesize that this is nevertheless a common species (Barquez et al., 2015).

Low detection rates follow from the suggestion that mist-netting, habitually employed for sampling bats, is a technique that normally undersamples aerial insectivores (Sampaio et al., 2003), particularly high, fast fliers such as N. macrotis. Furthermore, N. macrotis is hypothesized to be a seasonal migrant throughout much of its range (Milner et al., 1990; Barquez et al., 1999). Distributional information for other species of Nyctinomops in Central America also is limited: N. laticaudatus is common in some areas, such as Cerro de Hula, Honduras, where several individuals were found in our surveys. Nyctinomops aurispinosus is known from northwestern Mexico, and South America (Bianconi et al., 2009) but only recently was reported for Central America (Espinal et al., 2016).

Individuals of N. macrotis apparently inhabit towns and cities, presumably as they have a wide availability of structures offering suitable roosting conditions and year-round food supplies: urban street lights function as light-traps for numerous species of insects and are used by N. macrotis as feeding stations (Silva et al., 1996). Nyctinomops macrotis was the third most abundant insectivorous species in a survey conducted at the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil (Silva et al., 1996). Despite the potential for aerial insect control by N. macrotis, its presence was considered an important health issue, as two cases of rabies were detected in N. macrotis in the greater Sao Paulo, Brazil (Silva et al., 1996).

As in the instance of the recent record of N. aurispinosus for Honduras (Espinal et al., 2016), the present novel record for N. macrotis confirms the existence of the species in a previously undocumented region that constituted a vast gap of its distribution between Mexico and South America. The record of occurrence also increases the chiropteran and mammalian fauna of Honduras, highlighting not only the variety of habitats and potential for additional species in that country (e.g. Mora et al., 2014), but also the need for continued sampling of all biota: we clearly do not know what we think we know.


ANDERSON RP. 2012. Harnessing the world's biodiversity data: Promise and peril in ecological niche modeling of species distributions. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1260:66-80.

ANDERSON RP. 2015. El modelado de nichos y distribuciones: no es simplemente "clic, clic, clic." Biogeografia 8:4-27.

ARITA HT. 2005. Nyctinomops macrotis. Pp. 332-334, in: Los mamiferos silvestres de Mexico (G Ceballos and G Oliva, eds.). Fondo de Cultura Economica and Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, Mexico, Distrito Federal, Mexico.

BAKER RJ, S SOLARI, A CIRRANELLO, and NB SIMMONS. 2016. Higher level classification of phyllostomid bats with a summary of DNA synapomorphies. Acta Chiropterologica 18:1-38.

BAIRD AB, JK BRAUN, MA MARES, JC MORALES, JC PATTON, CQ TRAN, and JW BICKHAM. 2015. Molecular systematic revision of tree bats (Lasiurini): doubling the native mammals of the Hawaiian Islands. Journal of Mammalogy 96(6):1255-1274.

BARQUEZ R, MA MARES, and K BRAUN. 1999. The bats of Argentina. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 42:1-275.

BARQUEZ R, J ARROYO-CABRALES, and M DIAZ. 2015. Nyctinomops macrotis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4 e.T14996A22010988. UK.2015-4.RLTS.T14996A22010988.en. Downloaded on 15 January 2016.

BIANCONI GV, R GREGORIN, and DC CARNEIRO. 2009. Range extension of the Peale's free-tailed bat Nyctinomops aurispinosus (Molossidae) in Brazil. Biota Neotropica 9(2):267-270.

CAVALLINI SANCHES EM, L FERREIRO, CP DE ANDRADE, SM PACHECO, JM SANTURIO, LL ALMEIDA, A SPANAMBERG, and G WISSMANN. 2012. Real-time PCR and Nested-PCR assays for detection of Pneumocystis sp. in lung tissues of bats. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae 40(4), article 1070. CEBALLOS G (Ed.). 2014. Mammals of Mexico. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.

DA ROCHA PA, A FEIJO, MA PEDROSO, and SF FERRARI. 2015. First record of the big freetailed bat, Nyctinomops macrotis (Chiroptera, Molossidae) for the semi-arid Caatinga Scrublands of Northeastern Brazil. Mastozoologia Neotropical 22:195-200.

DATA BASIN. 2014. Available from: http://www.databasin. org/. Accessed 2 February 2016.

EGER JL. 2008 [2007]. Family Molossidae. Pp. 399-439, in: Mammals of South America, Volume 1: Marsupials, Xenarthrans, shrews, and bats (AL Gardner, ed.). The University of Chicago Press, Chicago [Date of issue: 31 March, 2008].

ESPINAL M, JM MORA, and CM O'REILLY. 2016. The occurrence of the Peale's free-tailed bat (Nyctinomops aurispinosus, Molossidae) in Central America. Caribbean Journal of Science 49(1):79-82.

ESRI. 2013. ArcGIS desktop: Release 10.2. Environmental Systems Research Institute, Redlands, California [software package].

FABIAN ME and R GREGORIN. 2007. Familia Molossidae. Pp. 149-167, in: Morcegos do Brasil (NR Reis, AL Peracchi, WA Pedro, and IP Lima, eds.). Editora da Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Brasil.

FRICK WF, JP HAYES, and PA HEADY III. 2008. Island biogeography of bats in Baja California, Mexico: patterns of bat species richness in a near-shore archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 35(2):353-364.

FRICK WF, JP HAYES, and PA HEADY III. 2009. Nestedness of desert bat assemblages: Species composition patterns in insular and terrestrial landscapes. Oecologia 158(4):687-697.

HIJMANS RJ, SE CAMERON JL PARRA, PG JONES, and A JARVIS. 2005. Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology 25(15):1965-1978.

HOPPE JPM, M BRANDAO SIMOES, V TEIXEIRA PIMENTA, NI BRANT MOREIRA, K MIRANDA MARINHO, and AD DITCHFIELD. 2014. First occurrence of Nyctinomops macrotis (Gray, 1839) (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in Espirito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Check List 10(2):411-413.

KALKO EK, V ESTRADA-VILLEGAS, S SCHMIDT, M WEGMANN, and CFJ MEYER. 2008. Flying highassessing the use of the aerosphere by bats. Integrative and Comparative Biology 48(1):60-73.

KRITICOS DJ, BL WEBBER, A LERICHE, N OTA, I MACADAM, J BATHOLS, and JK SCOTT. 2012. CliMond: Global high resolution historical and future scenario climate surfaces for bioclimatic modeling. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 3(1):53-64.

KUMIRAI A and JK JONES Jr. 1990. Nyctinomops femorosaccus. Mammalian Species 349:1-5.

LOPEZ-BAUCELLS A, R ROCHA, G FERNANDEZARELLANO, PED BOBROWIEC, JM PALMEIRIM, and CFJ MEYER. 2014. Echolocation of the big red bat Lasiurus egregius (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) and first record from the Central Brazilian Amazon. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 49(1):18-25.

MEDELLIN R, H ARITA, and O SANCHEZ. 1997. Identificacion de los murcielagos de Mexico: clave de campo. Asociacion Mexicana de Mastozoologia, A.C. Publicaciones especiales. No. 2. Mexico D.F, Mexico.

MILNER J, C JONES, and JK JONES Jr. 1990. Nyctinomops macrotis. Mammalian Species 351:1-4.

MORA JM. 2012. Lasiurus egregius (Vespertilionidae) in Honduras, Central America. The Southwestern Naturalist 57(1):104-105.

MORA JM, L MARINEROS, and LI LOPEZ. 2014. First record of the striped yellow-eared bat, Vampyriscus nymphaea (Stenodermatinae, Phyllostomidae) in Honduras. Caribbean Journal of Science 48(1):49-51.

MUNIZ-MARTINEZ R, C LOPEZ-GONZALEZ, J ARROYO-CABRALES, and M ORTIZ GOMEZ. 2003. Noteworthy records of free-tailed bats (Chiroptera: Molossidae) from Durango, Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist 48(1):138-144.

OJEDA RA and S TABENI. 2009. The mammals of the Monte Desert revisited. Journal of Arid Environments 73:173-181.

OPREA M, P MENDES, TB VIEIRA, and AD DITCHFIELD. 2009. Do wooded streets provide connectivity for bats in an urban landscape? Biodiversity and Conservation 18(9):2361-2371.

OROZCO-LUGO CL, D VALENZUELA-GALVAN, A GUILLEN-SERVENT, A LAVALLE-SANCHEZ, and AJ RHODES-ESPINOZA. 2014. First record of four bat species for the state of Morelos and new bat records for the Sierra de Huautla Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 85(1):38-47.

PHILLIPS SJ, RP ANDERSON, and RE SCHAPIRE. 2006. Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling 190(3-4):231-259.

REID FA. 2009. A field guide to the mammals of Central America & southeast Mexico. Second edition. Oxford University Press, New York.

SAMPAIO EM, EKV KALKO, E BERNARD, B RODRIGUEZ-HERRERA, and CO HANDLEY Jr. 2003. A biodiversity assessment of bats (Chiroptera) in a tropical lowland rainforest of central Amazonia, including methodological and conservation considerations. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 38(1):17-31.

SIKES RS, WL GANNON, and THE ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAMMALOGISTS. 2011. Guidelines of the American Society of Mammologists for the use of wild mammals in research. Journal of Mammalogy 92(1):235-253.

SILVA MMS, NMS HARMANI, EFB GONQALVES, and W UIEDA. 1996. Bats from the metropolitan region of Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. Chiroptera Neotropical 2(1):39-41.

TALAMONI SA, DA COELHO, LH DIAS-SILVA, and AS AMARAL. 2013. Bat assemblages in conservation areas of a metropolitan region in Southeastern Brazil, including an important karst habitat. Brazilian Journal of Biology 73(2):309-319.

ZIEGLER AC, FG HOWARTH, and NB SIMMONS. 2016. A second endemic land mammal for the Hawaiian Islands: A new genus and species of fossil bat (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). American Museum Novitates No. 3854. American Museum of Natural History, New York.

Jose Manuel Mora (1), Mario R. Espinal (2), Luis A. Ruedas (3), and Lucia I. Lopez (4)

(1) Instituto Internacional en Conservacion y Manejo de Vida Silvestre (ICOMVIS), Universidad Nacional (UNA), Heredia, Costa Rica. [Correpondence: Jose Manuel Mora <>].

(2) Investigador Asociado, Centro Zamorano de Biodiversidad, Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

(3) Museum of Vertebrate Biology and Department of Biology, Portland State University, SRTC-246, 1719 SW 10th Avenue, P. O. Box 751, Portland, Oregon 97207-0751, USA.

(4) Biologa y consultora ambiental, Cinco Esquinas, Carrizal, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

Recibido 15 marzo 2016. Aceptado 17 julio 2016. Editor asociado: P Velazco

Leyenda: Fig. 1. Approximate known distribution of Nyctinomops macrotis (darker gray) in North and South America and the Caribbean, modified from the IUCN Red List database; northern range is updated by inclusion of data from Frick et al. (2008, 2009). Inset map: Honduras, showing sites (star) where the two new specimens were collected, in southern Honduras: 13[grados]24'35.0" N, 86[grados]55'30.2" W (elevation: 1208 m), and 13[grados]26'08.8" N, 86[grados]55'08.5" W (1321 m). The two sites are separated by 3 km airline distance; at the scale of the map, a single point describes both sites.

Leyenda: Fig. 2. Ecological niche model for Nyctinomops macrotis based on the ecological characteristics of the two sites of capture in southern Honduras. Probability of occurrence is relatively rare throughout the area, ranging from 0.1 (blue) to 0.6 (red; at sites of capture).
Table 1

Standard external measurements for the two specimens of big free-
tailed bat (Nyctinomops macrotis) collected in southern Honduras.
Forearm (FA), body length (BL), ear (E), foot (F), tail (T) and
total length (TL) are given in mm; weight (W) is in grams. MVB
refers to the Portland State University Museum of Vertebrate

Specimen no.    FA      BL       E      F       T       TL      W

MVB 4962       63.25   84.33   23.01   8.57   47.47   129.55   32.8
MVB 4963       60.43   73.47   25.69   8.61   56.89   132.54   31.5
COPYRIGHT 2016 Sociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamiferos
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Mora, Jose Manuel; Espinal, Mario R.; Ruedas, Luis A.; Lopez, Lucia I.
Publication:Mastozoologia Neotropical
Date:Dec 1, 2016
Previous Article:?Densidad, abundancia relativa u ocupacion del pecari de collar? Optimizando el esfuerzo de muestreo.
Next Article:Nuevos registros de Natalus tumidirostris (Chiroptera: Natalidae) en Colombia, con notas sobre su variacion morfometrica.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters