In 1939 Hayman described a new vespertilionid bat from the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), noting that it was “one of the most striking discoveries of recent years’’ (Hayman 1939). He placed this species in the genus Glauconycteris Dobson, 1875, aptly erecting the specific name superba for its spectacularly bold black and white color pattern. Since that time, only a few specimens of this species have been collected. Our capture of a parous female in July 2012 in southwestern South Sudan represents a new country record for this poorly known bat, extending its range eastward. The only species of Glauconycteris previously reported from South Sudan is Glauconycteris variegata (Koopman 1975, McLellen 1986).
Hayman (1939) placed superba in Glauconycteris on the basis of its boldly patterned markings, dental formula, and properties of the incisors (Rosevear 1965; Rambaldini 2010).
Close examination of our 2012 South Sudan specimen relative to other specimens of Glauconycteris superba and of other Glauconycteris species indicates that, while this taxon is probably closely related to species of Glauconycteris, it lacks many of the most notable specializations of that genus, and we suggest that it is sufficiently and remarkably different from other vespertilionids as to warrant placement in a unique genus.
- Hayman RW (1939) Two new mammals from the Belgian Congo. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 11, 3: 219–224. doi: 10.1080/03745481.1939.9723594
- Koopman KF (1975) Bats of the Sudan. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 154: 355-443.
- McLellen LJ (1986) Notes on the bats of Sudan. American Museum Novitates 2839: 1-12.
- Rambaldini DA (2010) Glauconycteris variegata (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Mammalian Species 42: 251-258. doi: 10.1644/870.1
- Rosevear DR (1965) The bats of West Africa. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, United Kingdom.