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  Range extension for Thomas' Mastiff bat Eumops maurus (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in northern, central and southeastern Brazil
15/02/2012
Eumops maurus (Thomas, 1901) tem sua ocorrência no norte da América do Sul, no Equador, na Venezuela e na Guiana. O presente estudo descreve a primeira ocorrência de E. maurus para o Brasil, com capturas recentes nos estados de Tocantins e Bahia.

Área(s) de Atuação que o Presente Artigo trata
Biologia
Meio Ambiente e Biodiversidade
Inventário, Manejo e Conservação da Fauna


Eumops (Miller, 1906) is widely distributed in the neotropics, the Antilles, and in the United States in Florida, Arizona and California. Eumops comprises 10 species: E.auripendulus(Shaw, 1800), E.bonariensis (Peters, 1874), E.dabbenei (Thomas, 1914), E.glaucinus (Wagner, 1843), E.hansae Sanborn, 1932, E.maurus, E. patagonicus (Thomas, 1924), E.perotis (Schinz, 1821), and E. trumbulli (Thomas, 1901). Two of these are very rare in collections and data are few for most of the species (EGER 1977, KOOPMAN 1994, REID 1997, EISENBERG & REDFORD 1999, SIMMONS 2005). This genus comprises insectivorous bats with high and fast flight, commonly found in open habitats or above the forest canopy. Urban occurrence of these bats is noteworthy and is probably due to shelter and year-round food supplies (urban street lights attracting several insects) (SILVA etal. 1996), as well as destruction of natural habitats nearby. Molossids are commonly associated with human structures in Brazil (TADDEI 1983, BREDT & UIEDA 1996, SODRÉ 2003). The most abundant species in metropolitan areas are E.auripendulus, E.glaucinus, E.perotis, and E.bonariensis. Similarly with most bats in urban areas, Eumops finds shelter in the roofs of building with roosts six or more meters above the ground (NOWAK 1991). In São Paulo, these high-flying bats frequently enter high-rise apartments, often to the fifth floor. Due to high-flying habits molossids are usually hard to catch with nets used at the ground level. Thus, the best method is finding roosts, with colonies of dozens to millions of individuals. Eumopsmaurus was described by THOMAS (1901) with an adult male specimen from Kanaku Mountains, Guiana. Subsequently, the species was recorded in Suriname by HUSSON (1962), with no precise location, under the name Eumopsgeijskesi, a junior synonym of E.maurus (EGER 1977). The description by HUSSON (1962) agrees with E.maurus of THOMAS (1901), except the white lateral line on the belly, lacking in the original description but in the holotype. E.maurus was later recorded in Venezuela (SÁNCHEZ etal. 1992), and Ecuador (REID etal. 2000; Fig. 1). The presence of the species was suggested for northern Brazil (BEST etal. 2001) but with no reliable records exist. We record here the first definite Brazilian occurrence of Eumopsmaurus at three different locations. The first individuals were captured at roosts of palm leaves at two locations in midwestern and northern Brazil. Eight specimens from Corumbá Hydroelectric Plant IV, in the state of Goiás, were hand-captured in 18 of February (n = 2) and 20 of February (n = 6) 2005 in leaves of Syagrusoleracea (Mart.) Besc (locally known as gueroba). Four specimens were hand-captured at the Peixe/Angical Hydroelectric Plant, in the state of Tocantins (Fig. 2) in leaves of Mauritiaflexuosa Linnaeus (locally known as buriti). Both locations are in the Cerrado, a savannah phytophysionomy in central Brazil. Twelve specimens were captured, and measurements of the external morphological features of all specimens and cranial measurements of only two females sacrified are found in table I. Specimens are deposited at Universidade Católica de Goiás (UCG). The last record of E.maurus is from a specimen from São Paulo (23°32’S, 46°37’W, 760 m elevation), Atlantic Forest, in southeastern Brazil. São Paulo is the most populous city in South America and one of the five greatest metropolitan areas of the world (IBGE 2000). The Center for Zoonosis Control (CCZ), Secretary of Health, often attends to bat reports and was called on 25 April 2005 due to a bat. An adult female (15 g) was captured alive on the fifteenth floor. The specimen was sacrificed to take a brain tissue sample to test for rabies. This specimen is now preserved in fluid with extracted skull and available for study (CCZ 761/05). External and cranial measurements of Brazilian specimens are compared with the holotype and one specimen from Ecuador in table I. Identification of the specimens was based on diagnostic traits of the species (THOMAS 1901, EGER 1977, REID etal. 2000), including: 1) similar chocolate brown pelage on dorsal and ventral regions; 2) a large (5 mm) and long (20 mm) white lateral stripe on the belly. The skull of specimen CCZ 761/05 from São Paulo resembles E.auripendulus in general shape with narrowed rostrum, extended opisthocranium, a flat braincase and rostrum in outline. The skull of CCZ 761/05, however, differs somewhat from other E.maurus (ROM 106326 – Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto – and BMNH 1.6.4.34 – British Museum, London) because the latter have a slightly curved braincase in outline. Also, corporal dimensions of E.maurus from Brazil are slightly larger than those northern South America (Tab. I). However, CCZ 761/05 is not E.auripendulus due the blackish pelage and general shape of skull of the latter as mentioned above, and because dimensions of E.a.major, the subspecies that occurs in the Atlantic Forest, are much larger (forearm 59.0-66.0 mm and skull length 25.0-30.0 mm) and no specimen of E.auripendulus has a white ventral stripe. Thus, we have primarily considered these differences recorded in skull of specimen CCZ 761/05 as variation within E.maurus, but further studies based on larger samples are needed. Behavior and ecology of E.maurus are poorly known. It inhabits savannas, often in association with swamps dominated by the palm Mauritiaflexuosa, gallery forests and swampy evergreen forest (BEST etal. 2001), similar to that of central Brazil. The individual captured in urban São Paulo is enigmatic and might be a recent range expansion in response to urbanization. If so, it may become associated with buildings as have other members of the genus. The occurrences here are extensions of its known range by 3,000 km and the first records for both Cerrado and Atlantic Forests (Fig. 1). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We kindly thank the curators Paulina Jenkins (British Museum, London – BMNH) and Judith Eger (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto – ROM). We thank Albert D. Ditchfield for criticism on the text. This study was partially supported (R.G.) by Ernest Mayr Grants, Harvard University, and The Field Museum Grants, and CNPq (process number 484283/2006-5). LITERATURE CITED BEST, T.L.; J.L. HUNT; L.A. MCWILLIAMS & K.C. SMITH. 2001. Eumops maurus. Mammalian Species 667: 1-3. [ Links ] BREDT, A. & W. UIEDA. 1996. Bats from urban and rural environments of the Distrito Federal, mid-western Brazil. Chiroptera Neotropical 2 (2): 54-57. [ Links ] EGER, J.L. 1977. Systematic of the genus Eumops (Chiroptera: Molossidae). Life Sciences Contribution Royal Ontario Museum 110: 1-69. [ Links ] EISENBERG, J.F. & K.H. REDFORD. 1999. Mammals of the Neotropics. The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 609p. [ Links ] HUSSON, A.M. 1962. The bats of Suriname. Leiden, Zoölogische Verhandelingen, vol. 58, 282p. [ Links ] IBGE. 2000. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – Censo 2000. Available on line at: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/ estatistica/populacao/default_censo_2000.shtm [Accessed in 26.II.2007] [ Links ]. KOOPMAN, K.F. 1994. Chiroptera: systematics. Handbuch der Zoologie, Mammalia, part 60. Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, vol. 8, 217p. [ Links ] NOWAK, R.M. 1991. Walker’s mammals of the world. Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 5th ed., vol. 2, 1629p. [ Links ] REID, F.A. 1997. A field guide to the mammals of Central America and Southern Mexico. New York, Oxford University Press, XIV+334p. [ Links ] REID, F.A.; M.D. ENGSTRON & B.K. LIM. 2000. Noteworthy records of bat from Ecuador. Acta Chiropterologica 2: 37-51. [ Links ] SÁCHEZ H.; J.G. OCHOA & A. OSPINO. 1992. First record of Eumops maurus (Chiroptera: Molossidae) for Venezuela. Mammalia 56: 151-152. [ Links ] SILVA, M.M.S.; N.M.S HARMANI; E.F.B. GONÇALVES & W. UIEDA. 1996. Bats from the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. Chiroptera Neotropical 2 (1): 39-41. [ Links ] SIMMONS, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. Pp. 312-529. In: D.E. WILSON; D.M. REEDER (Eds). Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Washington, Smithsonian Institution Press, XXXIII+1242p. [ Links ] SODRÉ, M.M. 2003. Morcegos e Saúde Pública – Biologia e Manejo de Quirópteros no Município de São Paulo. Boletim Informativo CCZ-SP: controle de fauna sinantrópica 1998-2002. São Paulo, CCZ-SP. [ Links ] TADDEI, V.A. 1983. Morcegos: algumas considerações sistemáticas e biológicas. Boletim Técnico CATI 72:1-31. [ Links ] THOMAS, O. 1901. On a collection of mammals from Kanuku Mountains, British Guiana. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7, 8: 139-154. [ Links ] Submitted: 15.VIII.2007; Accepted: 04.VI.2008. Editorial responsability: Lena Geise

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