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Type: Articles
Published: 2004-12-20
Page range: 1–14
Abstract views: 35
PDF downloaded: 4

On the identity of flying-foxes, genus Pteropus (Mammalia: Chiroptera), from islands in the Torres Strait, Australia

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 Australia South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
Mammalia Australia Chiroptera flying-fox Pteropus


Five flying-fox species (Pteropus scapulatus, P. alecto, P. conspicillatus, P. macrotis, and P. banakrisi) have been reported from islands in the Torres Strait, situated between northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea. However, vouchered specimens demonstrate that Torres Strait records of the Large-eared flying-fox (Pteropus macrotis) actually reflect misidentifications of the Little Red flying-fox (P. scapulatus), and that the type series of Pteropus banakrisi Richards & Hall, 2002 (a newly-described species supposedly endemic to Moa Island) consists only of subadult individuals of the Black flying-fox (P. alecto). Only three flying-fox species are therefore known from the strait. These re-identifications underscore the importance of voucher specimens in biological investigations and have important implications for bat conservation in Australia. Pteropus macrotis is removed from the list of mammal species known from Australia, and banakrisi is placed in the synonymy of P. alecto.


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