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Rio Grande do Norte is one of the smallest states in Brazil but has a rich diversity of ecosystems, including Caatinga vegetation, remnants of Atlantic Forest, coastal habitats, mangroves and large karstic areas with caves. However, its chiropteran fauna is little known, and the state contains conspicuous gaps of information on the occurrence and distribution of bats in Brazil.
In order to reduce this information gap, based on a review of scientific literature and regional mammal collections, we list 42 species of bats, including new occurrences for 13 species and discussion on their conservation status.
The Caatinga harbored the highest bat richness in the state, including the occurrence of four vulnerable species Furipterus horrens, Lonchorhina aurita, Natalus macrourus and Xeronycteris vieirai. The Atlantic Forest needs to be more sampled, including mangroves, coastal habitats and areas of Caatinga in the central region of the state Borborema highlandswhich are virtually unsurveyed.
Although the recent increase of studies on bats in the state, morceggos studies should complement conventional mistnetting with active roost search and bioacoustical records in order to obtain better data for unraveling the bat fauna of Rio Grande do Norte. About one-quarter of the Brazilian mammal species are bats Paglia et al. Considering that Brazil harbors one of the largest mammal diversities in the world, its bat fauna is poorly known. Such studies together have recorded a richness of 38 species of bats in the state.
Despite the recent ed in describing the bat fauna of RN, there are still gaps of knowledge.
In addition, bat diversity and species distribution are poorly known in the state, and it is important for conservation strategies and policies Costa et al. Therefore, we present an updated list of bat species based on available mammal collections and literature review in order to describe the bat species composition, distribution and richness that occur within the state’s political boundaries and discuss conservation concerns based on the available data.
We expect that this study will inform the scientific community, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and general society about the diversity of bats that occurr in RN; will point out sites that need increased research efforts; and will be a reference baseline for ecological and diversity assessments, including those for environmental impact studies, to be carried out in the state.
RN has a territorial extension of 52, km 2 and is composed of municipalities, being one of the smallest states in Brazil IDEMA The Caatinga is a seasonally dry tropical forest composed by mosaics of xeric spiny shrub lands, columnar cacti, succulents, and deciduous woody forest stands arboreal caatingas Leal et al.
Physiognomy and plant composition variations determine eight different ecoregions in the Morcegow however, only two occur in RN: The NSD is characterized by extensive low plains, with elevations varying from meters. The BH ecoregion is mountainous with steep slopes and rugged relief, with rocky outcrops of granite.
The altitude varies from m and the vegetation is characterized by a shrubby-arboreal Caatinga with columnar cacti morcegps arboreal Caatingas in more humid areas on the tops of the mountains. Ecotones occur in contact areas of Caatinga and Atlantic Forest.
Finally, RN contains an important speleological heritage with the occurrence of extensive calcareous outcrops or “lajedos” that harbors numerous caves. Most caves occur in the northern and western region of the state in the Caatinga Cruz et al. RN has the fourth highest number of underground cavities in Brazil with more than recorded caves Bento et al. To find bat records within the political boundaries of RN, we searched in regional mammal collections as primary morcegoz and specialized bibliographic reviews as secondary data.
We only considered specimens with voucher number and location geographic coordinates and municipality. Specimens with doubtful identifications were confirmed ecoloyia experts. Also, we consulted books and book chapters that deal with the subject. We compiled all the information available about bats in the state of RN and livvro selected only records originally published in peer-reviewed literature and books.
Among the bat records from peer-reviewed literature and books, we selected only those supported by voucher specimens deposited in public scientific collections. However, all the bat records found in RN, regardless of presence of voucher specimens, are included in the Supplementary Material.
The species nomenclature and taxonomic arrangement followed Nogueira et al. We found records of 50 bat species among the records Supplementary Materials and just 42 species according to our criteria for inclusion in the RN list Table 1. These 42 species represented eight families: Phyllostomidae 23 speciesMolossidae 6Vespertilionidae 5Emballonuridae 3Noctilionidae 2 morrcegos, Furipteridae 1Mormoopidae 1and Natalidae 1. Eight species cited in the literature did not entered in the official list due to absence of voucher specimens, Peropteryx kappleri Peters, ; Saccopteryx canescens Thomas, ; Ecloogia.
Records were reported in 21 localities, 18 in the Caatinga and three in the Atlantic Forest Figure 1. The state’s Caatinga presented an accumulated richness of 32 bat species whereas the Atlantic Forest did 22 species. Nineteen species were exclusive to the Caatinga and nine to the Atlantic Forest Table 1.
The species with the highest number of collected specimens with voucher numbers were Myotis lavali 31 specimensPteronotus gymnonotus 30Molossus molossus 28Artibeus planirostris 26and Glossophaga soricina The species found in more than one locality were G. Coordinates of localities ecologai Voucher specimens presented in collection number column correspond to the oldest specimen recorded in each locality. All collection numbers of revised specimens are found in Supplementary table.
References in the original record column corresponds to the study who first recorded the species in the state. Specimens presented pointed and elongated snout, two light and weak stripes on back and forearms Specimens are deposited in CMAV. Both specimens presented ventral fur very pale gray to almost white and calcar Note very pale gray almost white color of the ventral fur of A that differs from pure white color of B.
Lengths of foots, calcars and thumbs of A and B are found in results. Scale bar 10 mm.
One adult male, and two females were collected at the edge of a natural lake in Caatinga vegetation. Specimens presented diagnostic characteristics of M. UFPE, The specimen presented diagnostic characteristics of A.
The bats of Rio Grande do Norte state, northeastern Brazil
Six specimens were collected and identified morcsgos L. CMAV, Note the pale-greyish ventral fur on the throat and abdomen of A that differs from the pale-brownish ventral fur of B. Specimens presented forearm length less than 70 mm Collected only in two localities of Caatinga.
The specimens presented diagnostic mocregos of N. It presented triangular ears, semi-squared antitragus and forearm less than 34 mm All six captured specimens presented flattened ecologoa, upper incisors separated by a space and morcegoz or small protrusion mocregos forearms; these characteristics separate N. UFPE, The bat presented damages on head, neck and dorsal area probably caused by a direct collision with the turbine blades.
Two specimens collected in different localities. Despite specimens presented forearms lengths of The bat had damages on the head and dorsal region, probably caused by a collision with turbine blades; however, the skull suffered no damages. The specimen was identified as L. The richness of bats in RN is greater than previously known. However, by adding the 13 new species records that we present herein, the number of species with confirmed occurrence in the state is 42 Table 1.
The bat richness found in RNs’ Caatinga was higher than in ds states’ Atlantic Forest, probably because of the lower number of collection sites in the latter Fig 1. Since all of sites in Caatinga are in xe NSD, our study contributes to fill the knowledge gap in this part of the ecoregion by adding 15 new localities of bat data collection in relation to the records reported by Carvalho-Neto et al. Previous authors, after reviewing the bat species richness in the Caatinga, warned that the eastern part of the NSD and the north of the BH have not been comprehensively investigated.
Based on Velloso et al. Although the Atlantic Forest showed only three localities of bat collections, the richness difference with the Caatinga is not large – a difference of 10 species. Considering that the Atlantic Forest in Brazil is richer in bat species than the Caatinga Paglia et al. Such dominance was expected since Phyllostomidae is the richest family in Brazil Nogueira et al.
Furthermore, all bat studies in RN were done using mist nets, a type of methodology heavily biased towards the capture of ecplogia than species of other families Barnett et al. Consequently, the diversity of aerial insectivorous bats, such as members of the Emballonuridae, Molossidae, and Vespertilionidae families, are poorly known in RN, probably because all of the studies conducted in RN used mainly mist-nets. The search morrcegos day roosts is another good alternative to increase the knowledge on bat species richness of the state.
Caves are an important roost for ecolohia bat populations considering the high number of underground cavities that occur in RN.
Inventories in such areas are likely to provide new species occurrences, and to contribute to a better understanding of the bat species distribution in the state. For instance, 17 species of eclogia have been already recorded to roost in RN’s caves Vargas-Mena et al. The bat diversity in Brazil is still being discovered as recent taxonomic revisions of specimens in the biological collections have led to the description of new bat species.
For instance, of these recently described species, Myotis lavali Moratelli et eologia.
Myotis lavali was recently described from the Myotis nigricans Schinz, complex after specimens’ revision in biological collections. The only record of M.
The confirmation of the species that we found in the literature review without vouchered specimens is needed. Of those seven non-confirmed species, for Peropteryx kappleri we did not find any locality or record whatsoever, despite Garcia et al.
Considering the possible presence lifro these species in the state, we call the attention to future bat studies in the Atlantic Forest to collect and confirm their occurrence.
Here, we presented 13 bat species with no previous record in RN, which increases our knowledge on the occurrence and distribution of the chiropteran fauna of RN and Brazil. Species such as Rhynchonycteris naso, Micronycteris megalotis, M. Two pale-bellied species of Micronycteris M. Both records represent a northward expansion of the distribution of these species in Brazil.
Micronycteris schmidtorum has a wide distribution in Brazil but records in the Caatinga are scarce Rocha et al. We encourage special attention when identifying this bat species to avoid misidentification and to better understand ligro distribution and habitat preferences.
The record of L. However, sympatry in certain areas of the Caatinga of L. We found both species in sympatry in Lajes, however its differentiation in the field is fuzzy which difficult identification R.