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Type: Article
Published: 2023-06-09
Page range: 199-218
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Taxonomic status of the Lesser Woolly Horseshoe bats (Chiroptera, Rhinolophidae, Rhinolophus beddomei) in peninsular India and Sri Lanka

Ecology and Conservation Lab; School of Biological Sciences; University of Reading; Whiteknights; Reading; UK
Wildlife Biology and Taxonomy Lab; Department of Zoology; Osmania University; Hyderabad; Telangana State 500007; India; Systematics; Ecology and Conservation Laboratory; Zoo Outreach Organization; 96; Kumudham Nagar; Vilankurichi Road; Coimbatore; Tamil Nadu 641035; India
Department of Agricultural Biology; Faculty of Agriculture; University of Ruhuna; Mapalana; Kamburupitiya; Sri Lanka
Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences; Faculty of Science; University of Colombo; Colombo; Sri Lanka
Department of Biological Sciences; Faculty of Applied Sciences; Rajarata University of Sri Lanka; Mihintale; Sri Lanka
Sandaraja Wana Arana; Dotel Oya; Aranayaka; Sri Lanka
Department of Agricultural Biology; Faculty of Agriculture; University of Ruhuna; Mapalana; Kamburupitiya; Sri Lanka
Department of Zoology and Environment Sciences; Faculty of Science; University of Colombo; Colombo; Sri Lanka
Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Studies; Osmania University; Hyderabad; Telangana State 500007; India
Mammalia Molecular phylogeny taxonomy redescription Rhinolophus perniger


Insularity provides ample opportunities for species diversification. Sri Lanka is home to a large diversity of species, many of which are endemic but morphologically similar to species found in southern India, due to recent speciation events, suggesting a complex evolutionary history. However, in some taxa although morphological diversity has been noted, the genetic level variations are minimal. Among the wide-ranging horseshoe bats such a phenomenon is noted. In this study, we used bioacoustics, morphometric and molecular data to evaluate the relationships between the taxa of lesser woolly horseshoe bats in the India and Sri Lanka. Our study reveals that the two taxa—Rhinolophus beddomei Andersen, 1905 and here we have validated the existing subspecies from peninsular India and R. sobrinus Andersen, 1918 from Sri Lanka are genetically very close to R. perniger Hodgson, 1843. Currently the taxa—beddomei and sobrinus are recognized as subspecies of Rhinolophus beddomei Andersen, 1905. We provide a detailed description of the taxa beddomei and sobrinus as the original descriptions are limited in nature.



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