Title

Insights into the evolution of a cryptic radiation of bats: dispersal and ecological radiation of malagasy miniopterus (chiroptera: miniopteridae)

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Christidis L, Goodman SM, Naughton K, Appleton B 2014, 'Insights into the evolution of a cryptic radiation of bats: dispersal and ecological radiation of malagasy miniopterus (chiroptera: miniopteridae)', PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 3, e92440.

Article available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

The past decade has seen a proliferation of new species of Miniopterus bats (family Miniopteridae) recognized from Madagascar and the neighboring Comoros archipelago. The interspecific relationships of these taxa, their colonization history, and the evolution of this presumed adaptive radiation have not been sufficiently explored. Using the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene, we present a phylogeny of the Malagasy members of this widespread Old World genus, based on 218 sequences, of which 82 are new and 136 derived from previous studies. Phylogenetic analyses recovered 18 clades, which divide into five primary lineages: (1) M. griveaudi; (2) M. mahafaliensis, M. sororculus and X3; (3) M. majori, M. gleni and M. griffithsi; (4) M. brachytragos; M. aelleniA, and M. aelleniB; and (5) M. manavi and M. petersoni recovered as sister species, which were in turn linked to a group comprising M. egeri and five genetically distinct populations referred to herein as P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7. Beast analysis indicated that the initial divergence within the Malagasy Miniopterus radiation took place 4.5 Myr; most species diverged between 4 and 2.5 Myr, and a secondary period was between 1.25 and 1 Myr. DNA K2P-distances between recognized taxa ranged from 12.9% to 2.5% and intraspecific variation was less than 1.8%. Of the 18 identified clades, Latin binomials are only associated with 11, which indicates much greater differentiation than currently recognized for Malagasy Miniopterus. These data are placed in a context of the dispersal history of this genus on the island and patterns of ecological diversity.