This "New" Species of Bat Has Been Sitting in Museum Collections for a Century

Aug 03, 2015


"Preserved specimens of a type of nectar-eating bat sit in museum drawers all over the world. But now it looks as though the museums have half as many of one type of bat as they thought they did. Or, looked at another way, they had twice as many kinds of bat.

Flitting around a desert region in northern Brazil are members of a species called Lonchophylla mordax. These are nectar-eating bats that help pollinate the plants in the desert. There are other kinds of Lonchophylla all over Brazil. L. mordax is its own species because it has a slightly different head size, tooth shape, and furry little belly when compared to the the rest of the Lonchophylla, but it’s not a zoological find. It was first described, and specimens were put in museums, all the way back in 1903."

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[Source: A New Species of Nectar-Feeding Bat]

Thumbnail Image: © Hans Hillewaert, Second Image: Dr. Ricardo Moratelli