A new dichromatic species of bats have been found in West Africa. The Myotis nimbaensis, first spotted in 2018, belongs to the Myotis genus, the richest genus of bats known to date, with over 120 species spread across the globe.
The Nimba Mountains
In 2018, scientists of the American Museum of Natural History were surveying the caves and mines of the Nimba Mountains, in Guinea, when they found a unique animal that did not match any description of other bats from the area. The name Myotis nimbaensis comes from “Nimba”, a reference to the highly biodiverse place where these new bats have been found. The animal may be only found in this mountain range which is home to several endangered species of bats.
The scientists performed a molecular analysis of three individuals captured in the area. Even though the Myotis nimbaensis is visually similar to the M. welwitschii, it is genetically closer to the M. tricolor. The Myotis nimbaensis is a large bat (females are slightly larger than males), its dorse is bright orange and its body is covered with black fur.
The researchers expect M. nimbaensis to be classified as a critically endangered species since it has a known occurrence of less than 100km2.
- Press Release | American Museum of Natural History
- Simmons, N. B., Flanders, J., Fils, E. M., Parker, G., Suter, J. D., Bamba, S.,Frick, W. F. (2021). A New Dichromatic Species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from the Nimba Mountains, Guinea. American Museum Novitates, 2020(3963). doi:10.1206/3963.1
Image Credit: BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL