Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

Molossidae (including Tomopeatinae) is a diverse group of fast-flying aerial insectivores. Some species live in very large colonies that can exceed 5 million individuals. Molossidae currently includes over 13 genera and 80 species (Koopman, 1993; Sudman et al., 1994). Two clades are currently recognized within Molossidae: Tomopeatinae and Molossinae (Sudman et al., 1994; Simmons, 1998; Simmons and Geisler,1998). Tomopeatinae is monotypic, containing only Tomopeas ravus, a species found only in Peru. All other molossids belong to Molossinae.

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Comprehensive Description

Characteristics

All Molossidae have the following features:

  1. no connection between m. sternohyoideus and basihyal.
  2. m. ceratohyoideus insterts at least part onto stylohyal.
  3. seventh cervial vertebra and first thoratic vertebra at least partially fused.
  4. length of manubrium posterior to lateral process >2.5 times the transverse width.
  5. distal acromion process with triangular posterolateral projection.
  6. coracoid process curves ventromedially.
  7. head of hymerus oval or elliptical.
  8. ischium with large ischial tuberosity that projects dorsally from posterior horizontal ramus.

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Distribution

Geographic Distribution

The geographical distribution of Molossidae is shown in red. Distribution from Hill and Smith (1984).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Reproduction

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

  • Molossidae
    • Tomopeatinae
    • Molossinae
from Simmons (1998) and Simmons and Geisler (1998).

Prior to 1994, Tomopeatinae was considered to be a subfamily of Vespertilionidae, but Sudman et al. (1994) and Simmons (1998) demonstrated that Tomopeas is more closely related to molossids than to vespertilionids. Monophyly of Molossidae (including Tomopeatinae) is stongly supported by morphological data (Simmons, 1998; Simmons and Geisler, 1998).

Phylogenetic relationships within Molossidae have been investigated using morphometrics (Freeman, 1981), discrete morphological characters (Legendre, 1984, 1985; Hand, 1990), allozymes (Sudman et al., 1994), and cytochrome b gene sequences (Sudman et al., 1994). Trees and classifications derived from these studies are largely incongruent, but most agree that Molossinae is monophyletic.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:970
Specimens with Sequences:703
Specimens with Barcodes:687
Species:72
Species With Barcodes:36
Public Records:492
Public Species:23
Public BINs:25
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Free-tailed bat

The Molossidae, or free-tailed bats, are a family of bats within the order Chiroptera.[1] They are generally quite robust, and consist of many strong flying forms with relatively long and narrow wings. Another common name for some members of this group, and indeed a few species from other families, is mastiff bat. The western mastiff bat, Eumops perotis, a large species from the southwestern United States and Mexico with wings over 0.5 m (1.6 ft) across, is perhaps one of the best known with this name. They are widespread, being found on every continent except Antarctica.

The family's scientific name comes from the type genus, Molossus, which in term is from the Molossus shepherd dog.[2] The family's common name is derived from a length of "free" tail, projecting beyond the end of the uropatagium – the membrane that connects the base of the tail to the hind legs. The tail is usually best seen when resting. A special ring of cartilage slides up or down the tail vertebrae by muscular action to stretch or retract the tail membrane. This gives many species a degree of fine tuning in their flight maneuvers to rival their day-flying ecological equivalents, such as swifts, swallows, and martins. As a result, these animals include the fastest-flying of all bat species among their number.[3] The dental formula of free-tailed bats varies between species: 1.1.1-2.2-31-3.1.2.3

Free-tailed bats are usually grey, brown, or black in color, with some exceptions. They range from 4 to 12 cm (1.6 to 4.7 in) in length, excluding the tail, and can weigh from 8 to 220 g (0.28 to 7.76 oz), depending on species. They are insectivorous, and catch their food on the wing. While some species roost in small groups in hollow trees or rocky crevices, some cave-dwelling species form vast colonies of up to 50 million individuals.[3]

Classification[edit]

The 18 genera contain about 100 species:

FAMILY MOLOSSIDAE

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Simmons, Nancy B. (2005). "Chiroptera". In Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 312–529. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. Retrieved 2 October 2009. 
  2. ^ The Mammals of the Southern African Sub-region by J. D. Skinner, ISBN 0-521-84418-5,2006, p. 277, "The name of the [free-tailed bats] family is derived from the Greek molossus, a kind of dog used by Greek shepherds in ancient times."
  3. ^ a b Macdonald, D., ed. (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. p. 807. ISBN 0-87196-871-1. 
  4. ^ Gardner, Alfred L. (2008). Mammals of South America: Marsupials, xenarthrans, shrews, and bats. University of Chicago Press. p. 669. ISBN 0-226-28240-6. 
  • Corbet, GB, Hill JE. 1992. The mammals of the Indomalayan region: a systematic review. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Mohd. Azlan J., Ibnu Maryanto, Agus P. Kartono and M.T. Abdullah. 2003 Diversity, Relative Abundance and Conservation of Chiropterans in Kayan Mentarang National Park, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Sarawak Museum Journal 79: 251-265.
  • Hall LS, Richards GC, Abdullah MT. 2002. The bats of Niah National Park, Sarawak. Sarawak Museum Journal. 78: 255-282.
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