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Rediscovery of Glauconycteris superba Hayman, 1939 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) after 40 years at Mbiye Island, Democratic Republic of the Congo

DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2013.42

Keywords: bats , morphometrics , taxonomy , distribution , conservation

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Abstract:

We report the rediscovery of the Pied Butterfly Bat, Glauconycteris superba Hayman, 1939, 40 years after this species was last recorded. The new specimen from Mbiye Island, Democratic Republic of the Congo, is compared with the type specimens of G. s. superba and G. superba sheila Hayman, 1947 and a specimen from Matonguiné, Ivory Coast. The variation in the striking colouration of the pelage as well as in morphometric data is considered to be individual rather than geographic variation and we tentatively regard G. s. sheila as a synonym of the nominate form. Despite the wide distribution of this species in the tropical forest zone of West and Central Africa, only four specimens from four localities are known to date, which might indicate very specific habitat preferences. Contemporary land cover information around historic collection sites shows degraded landscapes. Given the highly uncertain area of occupancy of this species, we suggest changing the status of G. superba in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from “Least Concern” to “Data Deficient”.

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