Systematics of Vampyressa melissa Thomas, 1926 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae), with descriptions of two new species of Vampyressa

American Museum Novitates
By: , and 

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Abstract

Vampyressa melissa is a poorly known phyllostomid bat listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Since its description in 1926, fewer than 40 V. melissa have been reported in the literature, and less than half of these may have been correctly identified. During revisionary studies of Vampyressa, we uncovered two previously unrecognized species related to V. melissa, all associated with higher elevation habitats (>1400 m), one from the Andes of Colombia (Vampyressa sinchi, new species) and the other from western Panama (Vampyressa elisabethae, new species) revealing that V. melissa, as traditionally defined, is a composite of at least three species. In this paper, we provide a restricted diagnosis for the genus Vampyressa, an emended diagnosis of V. melissa, and descriptions of the two new species. The separation of these frugivorous bats, previously identified as V. melissa, into three isolated upper-elevation species, each having restricted distributions further highlights their fragile conservation status.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Systematics of Vampyressa melissa Thomas, 1926 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae), with descriptions of two new species of Vampyressa
Series title American Museum Novitates
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Museum of Natural History
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 3813; 27 p.
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N