Evolutionary history of Caribbean species of Myotis, with evidence of a third Lesser Antillean endemic

Roxanne J. Larsen, Peter A. Larsen, Hugh H. Genoways, Francois M. Catzeflis, Keith Geluso, Gary G. Kwiecinski, Scott C. Pedersen, Fernando Simal, Robert J. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Currently, four species of Myotis are known from the islands of the Caribbean (Myotis dominicensis, M. martiniquensis, M. nesopolus, and M. nigricans). Myotis dominicensis and M. martiniquensis are endemic to the Lesser Antilles, whereas M. nesopolus and M. nigricans are considered conspecific with mainland populations. Recent phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies provided hypotheses regarding the origin and diversification of M. dominicensis and M. martiniquensis. However, these studies focused primarily on convergent morphology or distribution patterns of this genus and not on the evolutionary history of Caribbean Myotis. Here, we explore variation across multiple datasets generated from Caribbean Myotis. We present morphologic and genetic (mitochondrial and nuclear) data from an extensive sample of Caribbean Myotis species, including the previously unsampled taxa M. martiniquensis nyctor and M. nesopolus. Our data indicate that the historically recognized subspecies M. m. nyctor is genetically and morphologically distinct from M. martiniquensis, warranting recognition of a third Caribbean endemic- Myotis nyctor. Moreover, we provide evidence of unrecognized species-level variation in Caribbean and northern South American populations of Myotis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-134
Number of pages11
JournalMammalian Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • AFLPs
  • Lesser Antilles
  • Myotis dominicensis
  • Myotis martiniquensis
  • Myotis nesopolus
  • Myotis nyctor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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