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Noteworthy records of some bats from Mexico.

ABSTRACT. -- Specimens of 24 species of bats from Mexico, 19 of which represent new state records, are reported. These records contribute to a better understanding of chiropteran distributional patterns in the northern neotropics. Mensural data and natural history observations are recorded for some species. Key words: Chiroptera; bats; Mexico.


The ever increasing cost of field investigations, along with regulatory problems restricting the collection, transport, and importation of scientific specimens, have caused mammalogists to refocus their attention on the valuable material already available in museums. Many important specimens are nowhere listed or otherwise recorded as being on deposit in a given collection, although the increasing use and exchange of computerized information has in part alleviated this problem, assuming correct identification of material in question.

Several years ago, the first author began to accumulate data from collections in Mexico about specimens of bats that, for one reason or another, had not been incorporated into the published record. In the course of curating chiropterans housed in The Museum of Texas Tech University, the other two authors gathered similar information. Data accumulated constitute noteworthy records from several Mexican states of 24 species, and in several instances substantially extend the known distribution of taxa. In toto, they contribute to a better understanding of ecodistributional and zoogeographic patterns of the chiropteran fauna of Mexico.

Nomenclature mostly follows Jones et al. (1988) and species are arranged in the same order as in that publication. Specimens examined are listed for each taxon, arranged from north to south. Mensural data (in millimeters), weights (in grams), and natural history observations are recorded for some specimens when this seemed appropriate. Material we studied (acronyms in parenthesis) was from the following collections: Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas, Instituto Politecnico Nacional (ENCB), and Subdireccion de Servicios Academicos, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (DP), both in Mexico, D. F., and The Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (TTU). We are grateful to authorities of all three institutions for permission to report on specimens in their charge.


Saccopteryx bilineata centralis Thomas, 1904

Specimens examined (8). -- Quintana Roo: 16 km. S, 14 km. W Tulum, 10 m., 6 (ENCB); 4.3 km. W Chetumal, 2 (ENCB).

These emballonurids were captured by day in buildings at the Mayan archeological sites of Muyil and Dzibanche. Neither of two March-taken females was pregnant, but two captured in April had fetuses measuring 9 and 11 in crown-rump length. Testes of two males collected in April each measured 3 in length. Polaco and Muniz-M. (1987) used the specimens from near Tulum in their study of geographic variation in Mexican populations of S. bilineata.

Saccopteryx leptura (Schreber, 1774)

Our only specimen of this white-lined bat, a male (testes 3), is from Ruinas de Yaxchilan, 101 m., Chiapas (DP). It was netted early in the evening of 17 December 1985, along with two Pteronotus parnellii and one Mimon cozumelae, over a dirt road through tropical woodland. This is the second known specimen of this species from Mexico and the northernmost record.

External and cranial measurements are as follows: total length, 52; length of tail, 14; length of hind foot, 9; length of ear, 15; greatest length of skull, 14.1; condylobasal length, 12.3; zygomatic breadth, 8.8; least postorbital constriction, 2.1; length of maxillary toothrow, 5.1. The bat weighed 3.5.

Balantiopteryx plicata plicata Peters, 1867

We examined 40 specimens of B. plicata from 4.3 km. N and 5.4 km. E San Juan Capistrano, 1250 m., Zacatecas (34 DP, 16 ENCB), which represent a marginal locality of distribution for the species. Bats were found in a crevice and nearby cave in the valley of the Rio Chapalagana, along which tropical vegetation penetrates into Zacatecas.

Males taken in April 1985 (four), October 1987 (two), October 1989 (eight), and December 1987 (two) had testes measuring 1.0-2.0 (1.8), 2.0, 1.0, and 3.0, respectively.

Pteronotus personatus psilotis (Dobson, 1878)

A nonpregnant female of this mustached bat (ENCB) was netted in April 1983 over water along a roadside 20.6 km. S and 31.6 km. W Chetumal, Quintana Roo, the first record from that state. Rhynchonycteris naso, Carollia sp., and Sturnira lilium were taken in the same net.

Macrotus waterhousii mexicanus Saussure, 1860

Fourteen specimens (TTU) from La Cima, 34 km. S Ciudad de Mexico, Distrito Federal, along with those recently reported from the state of Queretaro by Leon-P. et al. (1990), help to confirm the distribution of this leaf-nosed bat as mapped by Hall (1981).

Lonchorhina aurita aurita Tomes, 1863

Four individuals of Tomes' long-eared bat from 3 km. N and 5.5 km. W Cuitlahuac, 50 m., Veracruz (2 DP, 2 ENCB), constitute the westernmost record for this bat, but not the northernmost (which is from 2 km. N Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo--Jones et al., 1973). Bats were captured at the entrance to Sala Seca Cave in 1980 and 1989. In the former year, lush tropical vegetation grew in the vicinity of the cave, but by 1989 this had been replaced by mango, bananas, and sugar cane. One specimen, taken in 1989 in a mist net strung in a banana grove, was partially eaten by an opossum, Didelphis marsupialis.

None of three females captured in November 1980 (two) and December 1989 evinced gross signs of reproductive activity. A December-taken male had testes that measured 5 in length.

External and cranial measurements for the three females and the male are, respectively: total length, 102, 104, 110, 112; length of tail, 49, 50, 52, 51; length of hind foot, 13, 13, 13, 15; length of ear, 29, 29, 33, 34; length of forearm (first two females only), 49.7, 48.9; greatest length of skull, 20.5, 20.5, 21.1, 21.0; condylobasal length, 18.5, 18.5, 19.1, 19.0; zygomatic breadth, 10.7, 10.2, 10.9, --; least postorbital constriction, 5.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.1; length of maxillary toothrow, 6.6, 6.7, 6.7, 6.8. Respective weights were 14.5, 16.4, 12.8, and 13.5.

Phyllostomus discolor verrucosus Elliot, 1905

Specimens examined (24). -- Tabasco: 13.6 km. W Villahermosa, 5 (TTU); 7 km. N Teapa, 17 (2 DP, 15 ENCB); 5.4 mi. N Teapa, 2 (TTU).

All our bats of this species were netted in banana groves. Testes of nine November-taken males averaged 10.5 (3-15) in length. Females collected in July and November were nonpregnant. One individual lacks a second upper premolar (P4), there being no trace of an alveolus for the missing tooth. Tabascan specimens provide a marginal record of occurrence for P. discolor (see Hall, 1981).

Analysis of variance tests on cranial measurements using our 12 males and 12 females were inconclusive regarding sexual dimorphism in P. discolor and we here treat measurements of the two sexes together: total length, 92.1 (84-97); length of tail, 11.2 (8-15); length of hind foot, 15.9 (14-17); length of ear, 19.4 (16-22); length of forearm, 62.0 (60.0-65.0); weight (females nonpregnant), 38.5 (29.3-43.3); greatest length of skull, 30.9 (29.5-32.1); condylobasal length, 27.7 (26.4-28.3); zygomatic breath, 15.7 (14.3-16.6); least postorbital constriction, 6.5 (6.0-6.9); length of maxillary toothrow, 9.9 (9.6-10.2).

Trachops cirrhosus coffini Goldman, 1925

Specimens examined (31). -- Quintana Roo: 57.5 km. S, 54.5 km. W Chetumal, 80 m., 13 (ENCB); 59.3 km. S, 56.6 km. W Chetumal, 80 m., 18 (2 DP, 16 ENCB).

Specimens here listed of T. cirrhosus, which were reported in passing in a paper on ectoparasites by Wolfgang and Polaco (1985), are the only representatives of this taxon on record from Quintana Roo. They were captured on 11 April 1982 in long, curved culverts, the ends of which were concealed in dense, tropical vegetation. Seventeen of 24 females were gravid with crown-rump length of fetuses averaging 19.0 (16-24). The testes of five males measured 2 or 3 in length.

Analysis of variance revealed no sexual dimorphism. Average (ranges in parenthesis) external and cranial measurements of seven males and 24 females are as follows: total length, 91.6 (90-94); length of tail, 15.4 (13-18); length of hind foot, 19.2 (18-20); length of ear, 31.6 (30-33); length of forearm, 58.5 (56.6-60.0); greatest length of skull, 27.7 (27.1-28.5); condylobasal length, 24.8 (24.3-27.4); zygomatic breadth, 13.6 (13.1-14.1); least postorbital constriction, 5.1 (4.8-5.4); length of maxillary toothrow 9.9 (9.5-10.2). Weights of seven males and seven nonpregnant females averaged 28.5 (27.5-30.0) and 28.9 (26.5-33.0), respectively, whereas 17 pregnant females averaged 30.4 (29.0-32.0).

Glossophaga morenoi morenoi Martinez and Villa, 1938

Eight specimens from 3.7 km. N and 4.7 km. W Ixtlahuacan, Colima, 330 m. (DP), constitute the northernmost record for G. morenoi and the first specimens from Colima. The bats, seven females and a male, were collected on 20-21 December 1990 from a concrete culvert in an area of low woodland along the old Armeria-Colima road. All females were pregnant, crown-rump length of fetuses avering 11.8 (7-16). The one male had scrotal testes that measured 4 in length.

Anoura geoffroyi lasiopyga (Peters, 1868)

The first specimen of this tailless bat to be reported from Tlaxcala was taken in Cueva del Diablo, on the northwestern slope of Volcan de Malinche, 3 km. N and 5 km. E Tlaxcala, at about 2300 meters. A female, this animal carried a fetus measuring 13 (crown-rump) on 3 July 1974.

Natalus stramineus saturatus Dalquest and Hall, 1949

Caballero y C. (1942) listed this species from the Distrito Federal in a publication on ectoparasites. Sanchez et al. (1989), however, were unable to locate the specimens he studied. Therefore, five funnel-eared bats from La Cima, 34 km. S Ciudad de Mexico (TTU), confirm the presence of this taxon in the Federal District.

Myotis ciliolabrum melanorhinus (Merriam, 1890)

Specimens examined (6). -- San Luis Potosi: 3 km. N, 13.2 km. W El Cedral, 1900 m., 1 (ENCB). Hidalgo: 4.5 km. W Mezquititlan, 1400 m., 1 (ENCB); 1 km. S, 0.5 km. W Omitlan, 2310 m., 1 (ENCB). Puebla: 3 km. N, 2.8 km. W San Salvador el Seco, 2520 m., 1 (ENCB); 11.5 km. S San Jose Alchichica, 2 (ENCB).

Our Pueblan specimens constitute the southernmost record for M. ciliolabrum, extending the known distribution some 500 kilometers. The individual from San Salvador el Seco was netted on a steep slope in oak forest. A male (testes 2) and lactating female were taken near San Jose Alchichica on 22 May 1984. Of the two bats from Hidalgo, a male from southwest of Omitlan was found at the end of a mine tunnel that was 100 meters long, whereas the other is a young male taken on 23 March 1982. A male from San Luis Potosi, testes 2 in length, was netted over a hot water pond at a bathing resort on 12 November 1981; arid scrub was the dominant vegetation in this area.

Myotis velifer velifer (J. A. Allen, 1890)

A male netted at a cave entrance near a lake in Nayarit, at a place 0.5 mi. N and 0.7 mi. E Santa Maria del Oro (TTU), fills a gap between Durangan and Jaliscan records (Hall, 1981). Other species captured at the same time (10 May 1974) were Macrotus waterhousii, Glossophaga soricina, Desmondus rotundus, Natalus stramineus, and Myotis yumanensis.

Myotis yumanensis lutosus Miller and G. M. Allen, 1928

The first specimen of this species, a male (TTU), to be reported from Nayarit was taken northeast of Santa Maria del Oro as described in the previous account.

Pipistrellus subflavus subflavus (F. Cuvier, 1832)

An eastern pipistrelle from 8 mi. S Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosi (TTU), provides the first record from that state.

Eptesicus furinalis gaumeri (J. A. Allen, 1897)

Three tropical brown bats (TTU), a male and two females, from 67 km. S Ciudad Victoria (on Mexican Hwy. 85) are from a few kilometers farther north than specimens reported by Hollander and Jones (1988) from 3.2 km. W Calabazas, and thus constitute the northernmost known record for the species.

Lasiurus cinereus cinereus (Palisot de Beauvois, 1796)

Specimens examined (8). -- Zacatecas: 15.5 km. S, 17.1 km. W San Juan Capistrano, 1465 m., 3 (ENCB). Hidalgo: 2 km. N, 1 km. W Nicolas Flores, 1200 m., 2 (ENCB); 7.5 km. NNW Santa Maria, 2550 m., 1 (ENCB); 1.5 km. S, 1.2 km. E Mezquititlan, 1350 m., 1 (ENCB); 6.6 km. S, 3.6 km. E Huejutla, 130 m., 1 (ENCB).

All our hoary bats are males that were collected in late winter or early spring (March and April) or in October. L. cinereus is a migratory species that is seasonally broadly distributed in North America. Our specimens simply fill gaps within the presently known cold-weather range of the species in Mexico.

Rhogeessa alleni Thomas, 1892

Specimens examined (4). -- Zacatecas: 4.3 km. N, 5.4 km. E San Juan Capistrano, 1250 m., 1 (DP); 15.5 km. S, 17.1 km. W San Juan Capistrano, 1465 m., 1 (ENCB). San Luis Potosi: 10 km. S Santa Maria del Rio, 1667 m., 1 (ENCB). Jalisco: 11.3 km. S, 1.5 km. E Huejuquilla el Alto, 1610 m., 1 (ENCB).

Our specimens constitute the northernmost record for this bat. The one from San Luis Potosi, a nonpregnant female netted in March 1981 over a small spring, represents a new record for that state. The two bats from Zacatecas and the one from Jalisco had dental abnormalities--anodontia of both third lower incisors in two cases and of the left lower incisor in another, and one case of atresia.

External measurements of two females from Zacatecas, one from San Luis Potosi, and a male from Jalisco are, respectively: total length, 81, 84, 81, 82; length of tail, 34, 39, 34, 34; length of hind foot, 6, 7, 7, 7; length of ear, 14, 15, 15, 14; length of forearm, 33.5, --, 33.9, --; weight, 5.9, 6.6, --, 5.8. Selected cranial measurements, in the same order, are: greatest length of skull, 14.8, 14.9, 14.8, 14.6; condylobasal length, 13.7, 13.7, 13.8, 13.8; zygomatic breadth, 9.0, 9.4, 9.6, 9.4; least postorbital constriction, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.4; length of maxillary toothrow, 5.4, 5.4, 5.2, 5.4.

Idionycteris phyllotis (G. M. Allen, 1916)

We have examined three Hidalgan specimens of this big-eared species, which constitute the first records from that state, as follows: 6 km. N Lagunilla, 2000 m., 1 (ENCB); 2 km. SE Meztitlan, 1200 m., 2 (DP). A female was captured as it vacated Xoxafi Cave near Lagunilla. Choeronycteris mexicana, Leptonycteris curasoae, and Plecotus townsendii were taken at the same place. Of the two specimens from southeast of Meztitlan, one was a male obtained in September and the other a lactating female taken in June.

Nyctinomops laticaudatus ferrugineus (Goodwin, 1954)

Fifteen specimens representing the northernmost record for this species, seven males and eight females (TTU), were collected in Cueva La Boca, 2 mi. E Santiago, 2500 ft., Nuevo Leon, on 4 June 1964. We used analysis of variance to test for secondary sexual dimorphism and found none, even though Jones and Alvarez (1962) found males to average larger than females in neighboring Tamaulipas.

Mean cranial measurements (extremes in parenthesis) of our series: greatest length of skull, 18.1 (17.6-18.4); condylobasal length, 17.1 (16.6-17.4); zygomatic breadth, 10.2 (9.9-10.8); least postorbital constriction, 3.8 (3.6-3.9); breadth of braincase, 8.7 (8.5-9.0); length of maxillary toothrow, 6.7 (6.5-6.9). These dimensions are slightly larger than those reported for Tamaulipan specimens by Jones and Alvarez (1962).

Nyctinomops macrotis (Gray, 1839)

Nine males and two females of this large free-tailed bat were netted over a temporal pond in a canyon bottom on 20 March 1983, at a place 8 km. N and 5 km. W Huisticola, 1028 m., Hidalgo (1 DP, 10 ENCB). They provide the first record of the species from that state. Five Eumops perotis were taken in the same net.

Eumops glaucinus glaucinus (Wagner, 1843)

Two pregnant females of this mastiff bat were taken in a mist net set over a branch of the Rio Panuco, which was about 30 meters wide, on 25 March 1982, at a place 6.6 km. S and 3.6 km. E Huejutla, 130 m., Hidalgo (ENCB). They constitute the first record for that state. External and cranial measurements of the specimens follow: total length, 145, 153; length of tail, 56, 49; length of hind foot, 13, 11; length of ear, 22, 25; length of forearm, 57.1, 57.7; weight 41.5, 38.0; greatest length of skull, 24.3, 24.0; condylobasal length, 23.7, 23.0; zygomatic breadth, 14.5, 14.6; least postorbital constriction, 5.0, 5.0; length of maxillary toothrow, 9.2, 9.4.

Eumops perotis californicus (Merriam, 1890)

Specimens examined (6). -- Queretaro: 3 km. N Jalpan, 1 (TTU). Hidalgo: 8 km. N, 5 km. W Huisticola, 1028 m., 5 (1 DP, 4 ENCB).

The greater mastiff bats listed above help to fill a distributional gap for this species in Mexico between Zacatecas (Hall, 1981) and Distrito Federal (Sanchez et al., 1989). Actually, Alvarez and Polaco (1980) first listed this bat from Hidalgo, a report overlooked by Sanchez and colleagues. In any event, the records cited above, along with the specimen reported from Michoacan by Huerta (1989), indicate a broad range for E. perotis in central Mexico. The Hidalgan specimens, a pregnant female and four males (testes 11-16 in length, average 13.5), were collected as described in the account of Nyctinomops macrotis. The bat from Queretaro was netted adjacent to a river in a rocky area dominated by thorny vegetation. Glossophaga soricina, Artibeus jamaicensis, Dermanura tolteca, Desmodus rotundus, and Tadarida brasiliensis also were taken there.

Promops centralis centralis Thomas, 1915

A male (TTU) from Rio de la Sabana, 10 km. E Acapulco, 10 m., Guerrero, provides the first record of this bat from that state. Measurements are: total length, 143; length of tail, 60; length of hind foot, 11; length of ear, 19; greatest length of skull, 21.0; condylobasal length, 20.8; zygomatic breadth, 12.8; least postorbital constriction, 4.3; breadth of braincase, 10.2; length of maxillary toothrow, 7.8.


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Caballerro y C., E. 1942. Descripcion de Parallintoshius tadaridae n. sp. (Nematoda: Trichostrongylidae) de los murcielagos de Mexico. An. Inst. Biol., Univ. Nac. Auton. Mexico, 13:105-109.

Hall, E. R. 1981. The mammals of North America. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1:xv + 1-600 + 90.

Hollander, R. R., and J. K. Jones, Jr. 1988. Northernmost record of the tropical brown bat, Eptesicus furinalis. Southwestern Nat., 33:100.

Huerta, M. C. 1989. Nuevos registros de murcielagos para el Estado de Michoacan, Mexico. Bol. Coordinacion Invest. Cient., Univ. Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, 13:38-39.

Jones, J. K., Jr., and T. Alvarez. 1962. Taxonomic status of the free-tailed bat, Tadarida yucatanica Miller. Univ. Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist., 14:125-133.

Jones, J. K., Jr., J. Arroyo-Cabrales, and R. D. Owen. 1988. Revised checklist of bats (Chiroptera) of Mexico and Central America. Occas. Papers Mus., Texas Tech Univ., 120:1-34.

Jones, J. K., Jr., J. D. Smith, and H. H. Genoways. 1973. Annotated checklist of mammals of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. I. Chiroptera. Occas. Papers Mus., Texas Tech Univ., 13:1-31.

Leon-Paniagua, L., E. Romo-Vasquez, J. C. Morales, D. J. Schmidly, and D. Navarro-Lopez. 1990. Noteworthy records of mammals from the state of Queretero, Mexico. Southwestern Nat., 35:231-235.

Polaco, O. J., and R. Muniz-Martinez. 1987. Los murcielagos de la costa de Michoacan, Mexico. An. Esc. Nac. Cienc. Biol., Mexico, 31:63-89.

Sanchez, O., G. Lopez-Ortega, and R. Lopez-Wilchis. 1989. Murcielagos de la Ciudad de Mexico y sus alrededores. Pp. 141-165, in Ecologia urbana (R. Gio-Argaez, I. Hernandez-R., and E. Sainz-H., eds.). DDF, CONACYT, UNAM, SEDUE, SEP, Soc. Mexicana Hist. Nat., Univ. Nac. Auton. Mexico.

Wolfgang, M., and O. J. Polaco. 1985. Notas sobre ectoparasitos de murcielagos. Veterinaria, Mexico, 16:269-271.


Laboratorio de Paleozoologia, Subdireccion de Servicios Academicos, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Moneda 16, Col. Centro, 06060 Mexico, D. F., and The Museum and Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas 79409 (JKJ)
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Author:Polaco, Oscar J.; Arroyo-Cabrales, Joaquin; Jones, J. Knox, Jr.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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