Genetic variation and relationships among Afrotropical species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)

Bruce D Patterson, Paul W Webala, Julian C Kerbis Peterhans, Steven M Goodman, Michael Bartonjo, Terrence C Demos

The genus Myotis is nearly cosmopolitan and the second-most speciose genus of mammals, but its Afrotropical members are few and poorly known. We analyzed phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships of six of the eight known Afrotropical species using Cytb and sequences from four nuclear introns. Using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood approaches to generate single-locus, concatenated, and species trees, we confirmed prior evidence that the clade containing Afrotropical Myotis also contains both Palearctic and Indomalayan members. Additionally, we demonstrate that M. bocagii is sister to the Indian Ocean species M. anjouanensis, that this group is sister to M. tricolor and the Palearctic M. emarginatus, and find evidence suggesting that M. welwitschii is the earliest-diverging Afrotropical species and sister to the remainder. Although M. tricolor and M. welwitschii are both currently regarded as monotypic, both mitochondrial and nuclear data sets document significant, largely concordant geographic structure in each. Evidence for the distinction of two lineages within M. tricolor is particularly strong. On the other hand, geographic structure is lacking in M. bocagii, despite the current recognition of two subspecies in that species. Additional geographic sampling (especially at or near type localities), finer-scale sampling (especially in zones of sympatry), and integrative taxonomic assessments will be needed to better document this radiation and refine its nomenclature.

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Bruce D Patterson, Paul W Webala, Julian C Kerbis Peterhans, Steven M Goodman, Michael Bartonjo, Terrence C Demos. 2019. Genetic variation and relationships among Afrotropical species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy 100(4):1130-1143.