Taxonomic Notes on Mexican Bats of the Genus Rhogeessa
by E. Raymond Hall
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Taxonomic Notes on Mexican Bats of the Genus Rhogeessa



University of Kansas Publications Museum of Natural History

Volume 5, No. 15, pp. 227-232 April 10, 1952

University of Kansas LAWRENCE 1952


Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, A. Byron Leonard, Edward H. Taylor, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 5, No. 15, pp. 227-232 April 10, 1952







Five skins with skulls of Rhogeessa, collected by J. R. Alcorn in the states of Sonora and Nayarit of western Mexico, were recently received at the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas. Two other specimens of the same genus, collected by Walter W. Dalquest in the state of Veracruz of eastern Mexico, also are in the Museum of Natural History. With the aim of applying names to these bats they were compared with materials in the United States National Museum (including the Biological Surveys collection) where there are approximately the same number of Mexican specimens of Rhogeessa as are in the Museum of Natural History.

The three kinds of Rhogeessa named from Mexico are as follows: R. parvula from the Tres Marias Islands off the west coast of Nayarit; R. tumida from Mirador, Veracruz, on the eastern slope of the Republic; and R. gracilis from Piaxtla, Puebla, on the southern end of the Mexican Plateau.

Of Rhogeessa gracilis Miller (N. Amer. Fauna, 13:126, October 16, 1897) only three specimens are known; two are from Piaxtla, Puebla, and the third is from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Only the specimen from the Isthmus has a complete skull. The broken skull of the holotype is partly separated from the skin of the head and in such a manner as to reveal the teeth. The skull of the holotype seems to be broader (relative to its length) across the mastoids and posterior parts of the zygomata than in R. tumida or than in R. parvula. My comparisons indicate that Rhogeessa gracilis has larger (longer and wider) ears than R. parvula and R. tumida and that it is specifically distinct from the two last mentioned kinds.

The two other nominal species from Mexico, R. parvula and R. tumida, were named and described by Harrison Allen (Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 1866: 285 and 286, respectively) on the basis of three specimens in the United States National Museum. Two were from the Tres Marias Islands and were the basis of the name R. parvula; the third was from Mirador, Veracruz, and was the basis of the name R. tumida. These specimens seem to have been preserved in alcohol. I have examined the skulls of two of these. One (U.S.N.M., new number 37329, old number 7842) is alleged to be the paratype of R. parvula and the other (U.S.N.M., 84021) is alleged to be the holotype of R. tumida. In the glass vial containing skull No. 84021, there is a label in the handwriting of Gerrit S. Miller, Jr., bearing the following information: "In the orig. descr. the number of this sp. is said to be 8195. This is an error. Specimen catalogued 3.1.98 G.S.M. Jr." On the back of a second label in the skull vial there is written, "There is no doubt that this is the type skull. It was returned by H. A. with no. given in orig. descr. G.S.M. Jr." In the catalogue of the U. S. National Museum there is the statement that the type of Rhogeessa tumida was collected by H. A. Grayson.

The name Rhogeessa parvula was based on two specimens (Smithsonian Institution Nos. 7841 the type and 7842, in alcohol, collected by Col. Grayson in the Tres Marias Islands off the west coast of Mexico.) The type seems never to have been returned from the Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia to the U. S. National Museum in Washington, D. C., and cannot (in 1951) be found in Philadelphia or anywhere else. The skull, but no other part, of the second specimen is in the United States National Museum under the catalogue number 37329 (old No. 7842). The skull has been broken in two through the interorbital region but is glued together.

Of R. tumida, no additional specimen has been saved, so far as I know, from the type locality, Mirador, Veracruz.

Of R. parvula, Nelson and Goldman, on May 19, 1897, on Maria Madre Island, saved in alcohol an additional specimen (92413 U.S.N.M.) from which J. Biggs, Preparator at the National Museum, in 1951, removed and cleaned the skull. In small size and in all other features, the skull of 92413 closely resembles those of specimens saved by Alcorn from the adjoining mainland of Mexico in Sonora and Nayarit. The pelage of the upper parts of 92413 could be described as "of a light greyish-brown at basal third, fawn-chestnut-brown at apical two-thirds" which are the words that H. Allen (op. cit.: 285) used to describe the pelage of his R. parvula. The external measurements of 92413 are: total length, 60; length of tail, 25; length of hind foot, 5.5; and ear from notch, 11.0. The first two measurements are slightly smaller than the corresponding measurements of any other specimen seen. Nevertheless, the measurements (tail, 30.5; hind foot, 5.3 [after H. Allen, orig. descr.]) of the holotype of R. parvula, also from the Tres Marias Islands, show that it was as large as no. 39724 from the adjoining mainland (see table 1).

According to the original descriptions, R. parvula and R. tumida differ in size, R. parvula being the smaller. As may be seen from table 1, the alleged type of R. tumida and the alleged paratype of R. parvula indicate the opposite! All specimens obtained since the time of the original descriptions, as may be seen by inspecting table 1, support the correctness of the original descriptions. Therefore, and also because of the other information presented above, I am inclined to the opinion that the holotype of R. tumida and the paratype of R. parvula have been switched; each now is associated with the name and data, at least for locality, of the other.

Other opinions are that Rhogeessa from the Tres Marias Islands average smaller than Rhogeessa of the adjoining mainland of western Mexico but not enough smaller to warrant subspecific separation of the two. Specimens from places geographically intermediate between the geographic ranges, as now known, of R. parvula and R. tumida probably will reveal intergradation between the two kinds, which, therefore, should stand as subspecies of a single species.

As understood now, the Mexican Rhogeessa are as follows:

Rhogeessa parvula parvula H. Allen

1866. Rhogeessa parvula H. Allen, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, p. 285, type from Tres Marias Islands.

Range.—Tres Marias Islands and western mainland of Mexico from Alamos, Sonora, south to San Blas, Nayarit.

Rhogeessa parvula tumida H. Allen.

1866. Rhogeessa tumida H. Allen, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, p. 286, type from Mirador, Veracruz.

Range.—From Boca del Rio, Veracruz, in eastern Mexico, southward over Mexico and Central America into Panama.

Rhogeessa gracilis Miller.

1897. Rhogeessa gracilis Miller, N. Amer. Fauna, 13:126, October 16, 1897, type from Piaxtla, Puebla.

Range.—Known only from the type locality and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Transmitted November 30, 1951.



Column FO: Forearm Column GR: Greatest length of skull including teeth Column CO: Condylobasal length (not including teeth) Column LE: Length of upper tooth-row, C1-M3 Column ZY: Zygomatic breadth Column MA: Mastoid breadth Column BR: Breadth across upper molars

======+===+========+===================+====+=====+====+=====+====+====+===== No. Sex Date Locality FO GR CO LE ZY MA BR -+ + -+ + -+ + -+ + + - [A] Rhogeessa parvula parvula 92413 ? May 19, Maria Madre 1897 Island 26.0 11.25 10.5 4.1 .... 6.1 4.7 7841 ? ....... lost specimen Tres Marias Ids. 27.4 .... .... .... .... .... .... 84021 ... ....... alleged type of R. tumida .... 11.8 10.9 4.3 .... 6.2 4.9 24853 [F] May 7, W side 1948 Alamos, Sonora 29.5 11.7 10.8 4.2 7.8 6.5 4.8 24854 [F] May 7, W side 1948 Alamos, Sonora 29.0 11.4 10.6 4.4 7.6 6.1 4.9 39723 [M] Aug. 5, 1/2 mi. E San 1950 Blas, Nayarit 27.2 12.2 11.5 4.5 7.9 6.5 5.1 39724 [M] Aug. 5, 1/2 mi. E San 1950 Blas, Nayarit 27.3 11.7 10.7 4.2 7.4 6.4 4.8 39725 [F] Aug. 7, 1/2 mi. E San 1950 Blas, Nayarit 28.0 12.0 10.9 4.4 .... 6.9 5.1 Rhogeessa parvula tumida 29886 [M] Dec. 8, Boca Del Rio, 1948 10 ft., Veracruz 28.7 12.7 11.9 4.63 8.4 6.9 5.6 19231 [F] Oct. 6, Rio Blanco, 20 km. 1946 W Piedras Negras, Veracruz 30.5 13.2 12.4 4.8 .... 7.0 5.6 37329 ? alleged paratype of R. parvula .... 12.3 11.3 4.68 .... 6.5 5.4 73269 [F] Jun. 12, Santo Domingo, 1895 Oaxaca 32.6 13.5 12.5 5.0 8.5 6.9 5.65 170858 [M] Oct. 7, La Tuxpana, 1910 Champoton, Campeche 26.7 12.4 11.3 4.5 7.6 6.5 4.9 + -+ + -+ + -+ + -+ + + -

[A] The first three specimens and the last three are in the United States National Museum; the others are in the University of Kansas Museum of Natural History.

Transcriber's Notes: Left inconsistent usage of accents Page 229: Changed Ishtmus to Isthmus Footnote A: Changed Natoinal to National


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