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Field identification of female little brown bats Vespadelus spp. (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in South Australia



Field identification of female little brown bats Vespadelus spp. (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in South Australia



Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 30(1): 29-33



Five morphologically similar species of little brown bats occur in South Australia; Vespadelus finlaysoni, V. darlingtoni, V. regulus, V. baverstocki and V. vulturnus. As males can be identified by the shape of their penes, the emphasis of this paper is on methods to differentiate the females of these similar species. Characters are listed here for identifying female Vespadelus bats, particularly for use in the field, using external measurements and geographic distribution data. Vespadelus finlaysoni and V. darlingtoni were found to be generally distinguished on size alone and V. vulturnus to be distinguished on a wing measurement ratio. Vespadelus regulus and V. baverstocki presented the greatest difficulty for identification. However this study shows that these two species can be distinguished 90% of the time. Areas of allopatry, parapatry and sympatry of species are also discussed.

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