Pleistocene Bats from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
by J. Knox Jones, Jr.
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Volume 9, No. 14, pp. 389-396 December 19, 1958

Pleistocene Bats from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico







Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Henry S. Fitch, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 9, No. 14, pp. 389-396 Published December 19, 1958





Pleistocene Bats from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico



Some of the Pleistocene mammals from San Josecito Cave, near Aramberri, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, collected by field parties of the California Institute of Technology under the direction of the late Professor Chester Stock, have been reported previously (see Furlong, 1943; Cushing, 1945; Stock, 1950; Hooper, 1952; Findley, 1953; Stock, 1953; Handley, 1955; Jackway, 1958). In 1950, Professor Stock loaned a portion of the San Josecito material to the University of Kansas for identification. Included therein were 89 crania and rami of bats, representing three families (Phyllostomidae, Desmodontidae and Vespertilionidae) and five genera, each represented by a single species. One of the species is here described as new. Three of the kinds are known only from the Pleistocene and two are Recent species.

The only previous mention of fossil bats from Mexico known to me concerns material from San Josecito Cave. Cushing (1945:182) mentioned a "vampire bat" from the cave (see also Maldonado-Koerdell, 1948:17), and Handley (1955:48) based his description of Corynorhinus tetralophodon on a specimen from San Josecito.

Brief descriptions of the cave have been published by Miller (1943) and Stock (1943). The precise age of the deposits is unknown; stratification data did not accompany the material sent on loan to the University of Kansas. However, most of the micro-fauna is thought to have come from the higher levels in the cave and is probably late Pleistocene.

The San Josecito Cave collections are currently the property of the Los Angeles County Museum.

I am grateful to Dr. E. Raymond Hall for permission to study the bats from San Josecito Cave, to Dr. Robert W. Wilson for criticism of the manuscript, and to Mr. Philip Hershkovitz for permission to use comparative material at the Chicago Natural History Museum. Lucy Rempel made the drawings from photographs by John M. Legler.

Leptonycteris nivalis (Saussure)

Referred material.—Seventy crania, LACM (CIT) 2951-54, 2956-64, 3114-22, 3124-25, 3127, 3131-35, 3137-41, 3143-55, 3942, 21 unnumbered, of which 35 are nearly complete, lacking zygomatic arches, auditory bullae and some teeth; three rami, one right, LACM (CIT) 3126, and two left, unnumbered.

Remarks.—The long-nosed bats from San Josecito Cave do not differ appreciably from Leptonycteris nivalis longala Stains, the largest Recent subspecies of the species, and the subspecies that occurs in the same geographic area today. Average and extremes of three cranial measurements of 22 specimens from San Josecito Cave, followed in parentheses by the average and extreme measurements of 23 adult L. n. longala from the type locality, 12 mi. S and 2 mi. E Arteaga, 7500 ft., Coahuila (after Stains, 1957: 356), are: Greatest length of skull, 28.2, 27.2-28.9 (27.5, 26.1-29.0); least interorbital constriction, 5.0, 4.8-5.4 (4.8, 4.1-5.4); breadth of braincase, 11.1, 10.6-11.6 (10.7, 10.1-11.2). The San Josecito specimens average larger than the series of Recent specimens in all of these measurements, especially breadth of braincase, but there is considerable overlap in each case and the extremes of greatest length of skull and of least interorbital constriction do not exceed the extremes in the Recent series.

Desmodus stocki, new species

Holotype.—Cranium, lacking post-incisor dentition on the left side, zygomatic arches and auditory bullae; Los Angeles County Museum (CIT) No. 3129; from Pleistocene deposits of San Josecito Cave, near Aramberri, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Referred material.—Twelve additional partial crania, LACM (CIT) 2946-50, 3127-30, 3940-41, 2 unnumbered.

Diagnosis.—Resembling the Recent Desmodus rotundus but differing from it as follows: Skull larger (see measurements and Figs. 1-2), heavier and more massive; rostrum and braincase relatively as well as actually broader, interorbital region relatively more constricted; braincase more rounded (less elongate) as viewed from above; nasals less concave in lateral view; narial vacuity broader in relation to greatest length of skull, more nearly heart-shaped; palate broad, less concave medially; mesopterygoid fossa relatively and actually broader anteriorly, the sides nearly parallel; zygomatic arches (judging from No. 2950, the only specimen with a complete arch, the left) less rounded in outline, appearing broader owing to the more constricted interorbital region.

Dentition larger and heavier than that in rotundus, but otherwise differing only slightly from it; upper incisor less concave on cutting surface (see Figs. 3-4); premolar and molar slightly less bladelike, with heavier roots.

The peculiar shape of the incisor of stocki is shared to some extent with Diaemus youngi, a Recent South American desmodontid. However, stocki does not otherwise resemble D. youngi, differing from it as follows: Skull larger and heavier; interorbital constriction much narrower; zygomatic arches less strongly bowed; skull less compact, more elongate; braincase and rostrum relatively much narrower in relation to greatest length of skull. Furthermore, specimens of stocki show no trace of the minute M2 attributed to youngi by de la Torre (Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 69: 191, 1956). For cranial measurements of youngi see Sanborn (Jour. Mamm., 30: 283, 1949).

Remarks.—The essential differences between D. stocki and D. rotundus are in size and proportion. I do not doubt that the two species are closely related; possibly stocki is ancestral to rotundus.

The species is named in honor of the late Professor Chester Stock, under whose direction the fossil materials from San Josecito Cave were obtained, and who, at the time of his death, was studying the mammalian fauna from the cave.

Eptesicus cf. grandis (Brown)

Referred material.—One rostrum, with P4-M3 on the right side and P4 only on the left, LACM (CIT) 2990.

Remarks.—This specimen is referred provisionally to E. grandis. The dentition is larger and heavier, and the ridges and depressions on the dorsal surface of the rostrum are more pronounced than in Recent E. fuscus. The P4-M3 length is 6.1 (approximately 6.1 in the holotype of grandis, less in fuscus); least interorbital constriction, 4.2 (4.3 in the holotype of grandis, more in fuscus); breadth of rostrum between infraorbital canals, 6.4; breadth across P4, 7.3.

TABLE 1.—Cranial measurements of two species of Desmodus.

- - - - - - Catalogue number G o C l Z b B b L c B f or number of r f o e y r r r e o r o specimens averaged e n n g e e a a n e r a s d g o a a i s s a a t k y t m d d n t t d m e u l h a t t c r t e s l o t h h a i i h n t l b i s n c a c o e t t o m l s f e i f a e a r o g n l o n n g r u t b m h i t a l - - - - - -

Desmodus rotundus murinus, La Mula, 13 mi. N Jaumave, Tamaulipas

10 (3 male, Ave. 24.3 21.4 12.0 12.1 5.5 5.2 7 female) Max. 24.9 22.0 12.5 12.5 5.6 5.3 Min. 23.9 21.0 11.7 11.9 5.3 5.1

Desmodus stocki, San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon

2946 27.3 24.5 14.2 6.1 5.8 2947 13.6 5.7 2948 24.3 13.9 6.2 5.3 2949 24.7 13.9 6.1 5.5 2950 14.1 13.5 5.7 3127 13.5 6.0 5.7 3128 26.5 13.5 6.2 5.5 3129 (type) 28.2 24.5 13.7 5.9 5.7 3940 27.4 24.4 13.8 6.2 3941 24.6 14.0 13.7 6.0 5.6 - - - - - -

Brown (1908:174) originally named grandis as a subspecies of fuscus. Gidley and Gazin (1938:11) considered it a distinct species. Whether grandis is only a subspecies of E. fuscus or a separate species, grandis is closely related to fuscus, and probably is ancestral to it.

Lasiurus cinereus (Palisot de Beauvois)

Referred material.—One cranium, lacking basioccipital, tympanic and mastoid regions, and most of the dentition, having only M3 on the right side and M2-M3 on the left, LACM (CIT) 3160.

Remarks.—The cranium of No. 3160 is inseparable from those of 10 spring-taken specimens of L. c. cinereus from the San Gabriel Mts., Los Angeles Co., California (KU 49727, 49729-37). Measurements of No. 3160, followed by the average and extremes (in parentheses) of the Californian series, are: Condylobasal length, 16.1, 16.5 (15.9-17.2); zygomatic breadth, 12.3, 12.4 (12.0-12.7); least interorbital constriction, 5.2, 5.4 (5.2-5.6); breadth of braincase, 8.7, 9.0 (8.5-9.3); length of palate not including terminal spine, 5.1, 5.3 (4.8-5.9). The teeth of the San Josecito specimen are comparatively unworn. A label with the skull bears the notation "talus" in parentheses, which, in so far as I am able to determine, indicates surface talus inside the cave. Therefore, the specimen in question may be of Recent origin.

It is perhaps worthy of note that Lasiurus cinereus is primarily a tree-dwelling bat, although a few Recent specimens have been reported from caves (see Beer, 1954:116).

Corynorhinus tetralophodon Handley

A single cranium of a Corynorhinus LACM (CIT) 2989 was included in the original materials sent to Kansas by Professor Stock. Subsequently, this specimen was loaned to Charles O. Handley, Jr., who described it as a new species, C. tetralophodon. The latter is said to differ from all other plecotine bats by the retention of a well-developed fourth commissure (ridge extending posteroexternally from metacone) on the M3 (Handley, 1955:48).



1954. A record of the hoary bat from a cave. Jour. Mamm., 35:116, February 10.


1908. The Conard Fissure, a Pleistocene bone deposit in northern Arkansas: with description of two new genera and twenty new species and subspecies of mammals. Mem. Amer. Mus. Nat., 9:155-208, pls. 14-25.


1945. Quaternary rodents and lagomorphs of San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Jour. Mamm., 26:182-185, July 19.


1953. Pleistocene Soricidae from San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Univ. Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist., 5:633-639, December 1.


1943. The Pleistocene antelope, Stockoceros conklingi, from San Josecito Cave, Mexico. Carnegie Inst. Washington Publ., 551:1-8, 5 pls., February 3.

GIDLEY, J. W., and GAZIN, C. L.

1938. The Pleistocene vertebrate fauna from Cumberland Cave, Maryland. Bull. U. S. Nat. Mus., 171:vi + 99, 50 figs., 10 pls.


1955. A new Pleistocene bat (Corynorhinus) from Mexico. Jour. Washington Acad. Sci., 45:48-49, March 14.


1952. A systematic review of the harvest mice (genus Reithrodontomys) of Latin America. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan, 77:1-255, 9 pls., 24 figs., 12 maps, January 16.


1948. Los vertebrados fosiles del Cuaternario en Mexico. Revista Soc. Mexicana Hist. Nat., 9:1-35, June.


1958. Pleistocene Lagomorpha and Rodentia from the San Josecito Cave, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci., 61: in press.


1943. The Pleistocene birds of San Josecito Cavern, Mexico. Univ. California Publ. Zool., 47:143-168, April 20.


1957. A new bat (genus Leptonycteris) from Coahuila. Univ. Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist., 9:353-356, January 21.


1943. The cave of San Josecito, Mexico. New discoveries of vertebrate life of the ice age. Eng. Sci. Monthly, California Inst. Tech., Balch Grad. School Geol. Sci. Contrib., 361:1-5, September.

1950. Bears from the Pleistocene cave of San Josecito, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Jour. Washington Acad. Sci., 40:317-321, 1 fig., October 23.

1953. El caballo pleistocenico (Equus conversidens leoni, subsp. nov.) de la cueva de San Josecito, Aramberra, Nuevo Leon. Mem. Congr. Cient. Mex., 3:170-171.

Transmitted August 18, 1958.


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Transcriber's Note:

Replaced the two occurrences of male and female symbols with the words "male" and "female".


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