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.
All Molossidae have the following features:
- no connection between m. sternohyoideus and basihyal.
- m. ceratohyoideus insterts at least part onto stylohyal.
- seventh cervial vertebra and first thoratic vertebra at least partially fused.
- length of manubrium posterior to lateral process >2.5 times the transverse width.
- distal acromion process with triangular posterolateral projection.
- coracoid process curves ventromedially.
- head of hymerus oval or elliptical.
- ischium with large ischial tuberosity that projects dorsally from posterior horizontal ramus.
Evolution and Systematics
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
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.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||1,082||Public Records:||492|
|Specimens with Sequences:||683||Public Species:||23|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||667||Public BINs:||25|
|Species With Barcodes:||33|
The Molossidae, or free-tailed bats, are a family of bats within the order Chiroptera. 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. 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. The dental formula of free-tailed bats varies between species: 1.1.1-2.2-3
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.
The 18 genera contain about 100 species:
- Subfamily Molossinae
- Genus Chaerephon - lesser mastiff bats
- Duke of Abruzzi's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon aloysiisabaudiae
- Ansorge's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon ansorgei
- Gland-tailed free-tailed bat, Chaerephon bemmeleni
- Spotted free-tailed bat, Chaerephon bivittata
- Fijian mastiff bat, Chaerephon bregullae
- Chapin's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon chapini
- Gallagher's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon gallagheri
- Northern freetail bat, Chaerephon jobensis
- Red free-tailed bat, Chaerephon jobimena
- Northern free-tailed bat, Chaerephon johorensis
- Grandidier's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon leucogaster
- Lappet-eared free-tailed bat, Chaerephon major
- Nigerian free-tailed bat, Chaerephon nigeriae
- Wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat, Chaerephon plicata
- Little free-tailed bat, Chaerephon pumila
- Russet free-tailed bat, Chaerephon russata
- Shortridge's free-tailed bat, Chaerephon shortridgei
- Solomons mastiff bat, Chaerephon solomonis
- São Tomé free-tailed bat, Chaerephon tomensis
- Genus Cheiromeles - naked bats, or hairless bats
- Genus Cynomops
- Genus Eumops - mastiff bats, or bonneted bats
- Black bonneted bat, Eumops auripendulus
- Dwarf bonneted bat, Eumops bonariensis
- Big bonneted bat, Eumops dabbenei
- Eumops ferox
- Eumops floridanus
- Wagner's bonneted bat, Eumops glaucinus
- Sanborn's bonneted bat, Eumops hansae
- Guianan bonneted bat, Eumops maurus
- Patagonian bonneted bat, Eumops patagonicus
- Western mastiff bat, Eumops perotis
- Colombian bonneted bat, Eumops trumbulli
- Underwood's bonneted bat, Eumops underwoodi
- Eumops wilsoni
- Genus Mormopterus
- Subgenus Mormopterus
- Subgenus Micronomus
- Genus Molossops - broad-faced bats
- Genus Molossus - velvety free-tailed bats
- Aztec mastiff bat, Molossus aztecus
- Molossus barnesi
- Coiban mastiff bat, Molossus coibensis
- Bonda mastiff bat, Molossus currentium
- Velvety free-tailed bat, Molossus molossus
- Miller's mastiff bat, Molossus pretiosus
- Black mastiff bat, Molossus rufus (another article)
- Sinaloan mastiff bat, Molossus sinaloae
- Molossus trinitatus
- Genus Mops - greater mastiff bats
- Subgenus Xiphonycteris
- Subgenus Mops
- Angolan free-tailed bat, Mops condylurus
- White-bellied free-tailed bat, Mops niveiventer
- Mongalla free-tailed bat, Mops demonstrator
- Malayan free-tailed bat, Mops mops
- Sulawesi free-tailed bat, Mops sarasinorum
- Trevor's free-tailed bat, Mops trevori
- Mops congica
- Midas free-tailed bat, Mops midas
- Niangara free-tailed bat, Mops niangarae
- Medje free-tailed bat, Mops congicus
- Mops leucostigma
- Genus Myopterus
- Genus Neoplatymops
- Genus Nyctinomops - New World free-tailed bats
- Genus Otomops - big-eared free-tailed bats
- Genus Platymops
- Genus Promops - domed-palate mastiff bats
- Genus Sauromys
- Genus Tadarida - free-tailed bats
- Egyptian free-tailed bat, Tadarida aegyptiaca
- White-striped free-tailed bat, Tadarida australis
- Mexican free-tailed bat, Tadarida brasiliensis
- Madagascan large free-tailed bat, Tadarida fulminans
- European free-tailed bat, Tadarida insignis
- Tadarida kuboriensis
- La Touche's free-tailed bat, Tadarida latouchei
- Kenyan big-eared free-tailed bat, Tadarida lobata
- European free-tailed bat, Tadarida teniotis
- African giant free-tailed bat, Tadarida ventralis
- Genus Chaerephon - lesser mastiff bats
- Subfamily Tomopeatinae
|Wikispecies has information related to: Molossidae|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Molossidae.|
- 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.
- 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."
- Macdonald, D., ed. (1984). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. p. 807. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
- 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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