Dataset to: Spitzenberger et al. (2006) "A preliminary revision of the genus Plecotus (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) based on genetic and morphological results"

Publication date: 01 Sep 2023
Publisher: Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (NHMW)
Collections: Central Research Laboratories
Resource type: Text
License: CC BY
CC BY 4.0 International
Tags: Chiroptera Supplementary material
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The phylogenetic relationships within the genus Plecotus were assessed using molecular as well as morphological methods. With only three species missing, our study is based on an almost comprehensive taxonomic sampling. The genetic analysis comprised 151 individuals from throughout the range. Sequences of two mitochondrial sections, parts of the 16S rRNA gene (16S) and of the control region (CR) were analysed. The morphological analysis of cranial and external characters comprised 697 individuals, including 10 holotypes and one lectotype. Data from 15 craniometric characters of 442 specimens were used in the multivariate analyses. The molecular data identified nine primary clades representing 11 species, 10 of which could be assigned to described taxa, whereas one was described as a new species, Plecotus strelkovi Spitzenberger sp. nov. The tree based on 16S revealed two major lineages, one consisting of only one primary clade restricted to the Mediterranean, the other consisting of eight primary clades representing Eurasian taxa. The morphological analysis revealed five additional species, two of them not described. Together with the recently described P. taivanusP. sardus and P. balensis, which were not included in our analysis, the genus Plecotus comprises at least 19 more or less cryptic species. Phylogenetic and phenetic analyses resulted in similar but not completely concordant arrangements of the species. The proposed classification relies mainly on the tree based on 16S sequences. The current distribution indicates that 16 species can be linked to arboreal refugia, three to eremial refugia. We assume that speciation within the gleaning, rather slow flying long-eared bats is due to a multitude of disruption and isolation processes within a formerly continuous range of the broad-leaved Arcto-Tertiary forest in which Plecotus probably originated. An exact calibrated molecular dating of the splits is not possible. The Early Oligocene age of the presumed ancestor of the Plecotini and a correlation of the molecular diversifications with palaeogeographic reconstructions suggest that the divergence of the two major lineages may have occurred already during the Middle Miocene, 14.5 Mya.


Spitzenberger, F., Strelkov, P.P., Winkler, H. & Haring, E. (2006) A preliminary revision of the genus Plecotus (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) based on genetic and morphological results. Zoologica Scripta, 35(3), 187-230.


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Spitzenberger_F_et_al_2006_SM_Appendix_2.pdf Electronic Supplement Appendix 2 of Spitzenberger et al. 2006 (PDF/A format) 0.14 MB