Miniopterus Phillipsi: New Species Of Long-Fingered Bats Discovered in India, Sri Lanka

Miniopterus Phillipsi: A new species of Bat has been discovered in India and Sri Lanka by a team of international researchers. The team used DNA barcoded specimens to identify the New long-fingered bat species and it has been named Miniopterus Phillipsi after W W A Philips (1892-1981).

Miniopterus Phillipsi: New Species Of Bats Discovered
Miniopterus Phillipsi: New Species Of Bats Discovered

Miniopterus Phillipsi: In a breakthrough discovery, a new species of Bat has been discovered in India and Sri Lanka by a team of international researchers. The species of bat discovered by the team has distinct physical characteristics including long fingers as compared to other species. The team used DNA barcoded specimens to identify the New long-fingered bat species and it has been named Miniopterus Phillipsi after W W A Philips (1892-1981), for his contributions to studies on the mammals of Sri Lanka and South Asia. The newly discovered bat species is part of the larger Miniopteridae family which consists of at least 40 species worldwide.

Found in Idulgashinna Cave in Sri Lanka and Robbers Cave, Mahabaleshwar in India

The initial phase of the research for discovering the Miniopterus Phillipsi was carried out in Sri Lanka in 2019 and since then, it has taken over 3 years to complete the same across both India and Sri Lanka. During the research phase, the team collected specimens for the new bat species from Idulgashinna cave in Uva Province in Sri Lanka. Following this, researchers also found that the population of long-fingered bats in Robber's cave in Mahabaleshwar in the Western Ghats of India also exhibited similar characteristics. This was later confirmed using the DNA-barcoded specimens.

Click Here to Access the Complete Paper Published in Acta Chiropterologica

Physical Characteristics and Features

The research team which discovered Miniopterus Phillipsi was led by Tharaka Kusuminda of the University of Rohana. The new bat species discovered by the team has said that similar to other Long-fingered bats, the Miniopterus Phillipsi are also primarily found in caves and tunnels and prefer living in large colonies. Furthermore, as part of its research, the team also assessed the morphological and anatomical features across specimens collected across India and Sri Lanka and found them to be identical.  

Earlier in the year, a team of researchers had discovered Glischropus meghalayanus a new species of thick-thumbed bat from a bamboo forest in Meghalaya.

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