Short‐faced bats (Phyllostomidae: Stenodermatina): a Caribbean radiation of strict frugivores

Aim To test the hypothesis that Caribbean Short‐faced bats descended from a single recent ancestor that originated in the continental Neotropics (Mexico, Central America and/or South America). Location The Neotropics, including the West Indies. Methods New mitochondrial cytochrome b and nuclear Rag2 sequences were combined with published molecular data to estimate phylogenetic relationships and sequence divergence among Short‐faced bats. The resulting phylogenies were compared with those compatible with the single‐origin hypothesis using two model‐based statistical tests. Confidence limits on sequence divergence were estimated using a parametric bootstrap. Results All molecular phylogenies revealed two independent Caribbean lineages and showed that continental Short‐faced bats share a recent common ancestor. Morphology‐based trees compatible with the single‐origin hypothesis were significantly worse at explaining the molecular data than any molecular phylogeny. Main conclusions The ancestor of all Short‐faced bats reached the Antilles in the Miocene, too recently to have used a proposed Oligocene land bridge, and well before the Pleistocene glaciations that are thought to have facilitated dispersal for many bats. After a long period of isolation, Short‐faced bats diversified quickly on the Caribbean islands. A single Short‐faced lineage then reached the continent and subsequently expanded its range and diversified into the four extant genera. Among bats, independent lineages of aerial insectivores and nectarivores have also recolonized the continent after evolving in the West Indies. The evidence for an insular origin of the short‐faced frugivorous radiation completes a dynamic model of Caribbean biogeography that encompasses an entire biological community.

Exploring population genetic structure in three species of Lesser Antillean bats

We explore population genetic structure in phyllostomid bats (Ardops nichollsi, Brachyphylla cavernarum and Artibeus jamaicensis) from the northern Lesser Antilles by investigating the degree to which island populations are genetically differentiated. Our hypothesis, that the island populations are genetically distinct because of a combination of founding events, limited migration and genetic drift exacerbated by catastrophe‐induced fluctuations in population size, is derived from a priori hypotheses erected in the literature. The first prediction of this hypothesis, that within each species island populations are monophyletic, was tested using a parametric bootstrap approach. Island monophyly could not be rejected in Ardops nichollsi (P = 0.718), but could be rejected in B. cavernarum (P 100 km of ocean can be explained either by interisland migration or by incomplete lineage sorting of ancestral polymorphism in the source population. As an a posteriori test of lineage sorting, we used simulations of gene trees within a population tree to suggest that lineage sorting is an unlikely explanation for the observed pattern of nonmonophyly in Artibeus jamaicensis (PW

Phylogeny of the Lonchophyllini (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae)

A combination of 1,140 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of Platalina, Lionycteris, and several species of Lonchophylla (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) with 150 morphological, sex chromosome, and restriction site characters were used in an attempt to resolve relationships among the lonchophylline taxa. In addition, the monophyly of Lonchophylla was tested, particularly with respect to Platalina. The most parsimonious hypothesis of relationships using all available characters was (L. mordax ((L. chocoana (L. robusta, L. handleyi))(L. thomasi (Lionycteris, Platalina)))). Lonchophylla appears to be paraphyletic, but this arrangement is not well supported. Our analyses suggest that Platalina is not simply a large Lonchophylla, as had been suggested by previous morphological analyses. The low support values for basal relationships found in this study are probably caused by saturation in cytochrome b 3rd positions. Additionally, 2 alternative explanations are viable (if improbable): unsampled lonchophyllines are necessary to confidently resolve relationships at the base of the group, or the lack of resolution at the base of the lonchophylline phylogeny might be explained by rapid speciation following the separation from other glossophagines. Future work examining the phylogenetic relationships of lonchophylline bats should focus on describing new taxa, obtaining tissue samples from unsequenced representatives, and adding nuclear loci to this mitochondrial DNA data set.