Myotis gerhardstorchi sp. n. and comments on the European fossil record of Myotis frater group (Mammalia, Chiroptera)


A new species, Myotis gerhardstorchi sp. n., supposedly close to M. sicarius and M. frater group, is described from MN 15 site Beremend 26 (Hungary). M. frater group, now restricted to vicariant ranges in E Asia, Siberia and Central Asia, is further reported from three Pliocene and two Early Pleistocene mass bat assemblages from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The odontological diagnosis of the group is presented, together with comparisons of the fossil material with extant species of the group, and W Palearctic taxa of the genus, both fossil and Recent. Molecular phylogenetics reveals that the above-mentioned Asiatic taxa, together with the European species M. daubentonii and M. bechsteinii, the index fossil of the W Palearctic Late Cenozoic bat communities, compose a distinct phylogenetic entity called Myotis Clade III. Here we argue that the history of Clade III in the W Palearctics was contributed also by clades close to its stem line, and those related to the Asiatic forms that later disappeared from that region. Finally, a list of taxa, both fossil and Recent, composing the Myotis Clade III is provided.

Key words

Myotis, bats, Pliocene, taxonomy, distribution, Palearctic region