Other taxa

Beside amphibians and reptiles we have studied also chiropterans. Phylogeographies and genetic/taxonomic diversities of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern taxa (Miniopterus, Otonycteris, Rhinolophus) were investigated in cooperation with Petr Benda from the Department of Zoology, National Museum in Prague.


Research highlights

Bent-winged bats (Miniopterus) of the Western Palaearctic and adjacent regions

Using a phylogeographical approach and morphology of skull traits we studied diversity of bent-winged bats from Morocco to Afghanistan, including European and SW Arabian populations. Based on the combined evidence from the morphology and molecular data, we suggested the following taxonomy: Marginal areas in eastern Afghanistan and Yemen are inhabited by M. cf. fuliginosus and M. cf. arenarius, respectively, while the Western Palearctic region harbours M. schreibersii in the west (Europe, North Africa to coastal Anatolia, Levant, and Cyprus) and M. pallidus in the east (inland Anatolia to Central Asia in southern Afghanistan). We also suggested the existence of a possible new taxon in the Atlas Mts. of Morocco, which was later described as a new species, M. maghrebensis, more widely distributed in the Maghreb region (Puechmaille et al., 2014).


Miniopterus schreibersii (Photo by C. Robiller/naturlichter.de)



Šrámek J., Gvoždík V., Benda P., 2013: Hidden diversity in bent-winged bats (Chiroptera: Miniopteridae) of the Western Palaearctic and adjacent regions: implications for taxonomy. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 167: 165–190


Desert long-eared bat (Otonycteris)

The genus is distributed in deserts of North Africa, Arabia, and western and central Asia. We studied the taxonomy based on morphology and analysis of mitochondrial DNA. This integrative taxonomical approach showed that the genus contains two species, central Asiatic O. leucophaea and more widespread O. hemprichii in the rest of the genus range. The latter is composed of several evolutionary lineages, which might be treated as separate subspecies. Phylogeographically, it is interesting to notice that one of these lineages was recorded from both sides of the Persian Gulf/Gulf of Oman from the Iranian Highlands and Hajar Mts. in Oman.


Benda P., Gvoždík V., 2010: Taxonomy of the genus Otonycteris (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae: Plecotini) as inferred from morphological and mtDNA data. Acta Chiropterologica 12(1): 83–102

Figure by Petr Benda


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Václav Gvoždík, Research on the Evolutionary biology of amphibians & reptiles | Last updated October 2022