Small Myotinae bats from Himalaya uncovered

Our article on the revision of small-sized Myotinae bats from the Himalayas has been published in Mammalian Biology.
The systematics status of the constituent species of the M. mystacinus morphogroup in the Himalayan region has long been marred by uncertainty. Lack of integrative studies combining morphological and genetic data from specimens recently collected in this region has hampered our understanding of cryptic variations in this complex taxonomic group. To address this issue, new material from the Himalayan region of India and Nepal was obtained and vouchered specimens in the holdings of various museums were also re-examined. As comparative material, a large series of relevant specimens from South and Southeast Asia were also included in this revision. Using a combination of multivariate analysis of craniodental characters and molecular reconstructions, we critically evaluated the systematic position of the small Myotinae in the Himalayas. We establish that M. nipalensis forms a very distinct lineage (which also includes the recently described M. annatessae) and refute previous taxonomic suggestions that it is related to M. davidii. Our study also conclusively proved the common occurrence of the poorly known genus Submyotodon in the Himalayan region (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal and China) and evidenced species-level divergences within that genus. Submyotodon species share nyctalodont or semi-nyctalodont lower molar configuration with few other small and unrelated Myotinae from Asia suggesting that these unusual dental characters are homoplasious in this subfamily. We also noticed a very confused taxonomic situation associated with many DNA sequences of Asian Myotis deposited in public repositories and call for possibilities of better data curation.
Uttam et al. 2021. Molecular and morphological revision of small Myotinae from the Himalayas shed new light on the poorly known genus Submyotodon (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Mammalian Biology 10.1007/s42991-020-00081-3