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Subspecies differentiation for Blanford’s fruit bat,Sphaerias blanfordi (Pteropodidae,Chiroptera) in southern Asia

FENG Qing,JIANG Xuelong,WANG Yingxiang   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution,Kunming Institute of Zoology,the Chinese Academy of Sciences,Kunming 650223,China
  • Online:2008-12-20 Published:2008-07-07

亚洲南部球果蝠Sphaerias blanfordi (Thomas,1891) 的亚种分化


  1. 中国科学院昆明动物研究所遗传资源与进化国家重点实验室,昆明 650223

Abstract: Blanford’s fruit bat,Sphaerias blanfordi (Thomas,1891) is endemic to Himalaya-Indochina areas,southern Asia, very unwanted and rarely reported. There was no description of male external diagnostics and it was considered to be
monotypic until 1980. However,Cai and Zhang (1980) described a new subspecies,Sphaerias blanfordimotuoensis,
based on two male specimens from Mêdog,southeastern Tibet. It differs from the nominate subspecies S.
b. blanfordi
Thomas, in having a pelage of uniformly blue-brown,two grayish-yellow rounded patches on the undersurface of the neck, no odontoid papillae on the inner side of the lips,and only the foreside lower margin of ear is white. However, after examining 25 specimens of Blanford’s fruit bat collected from Mt. Gaoligong, northwestern Yunnan of China,we found that:
1. The grayish-yellow patches on the undersurface of the neck reflect external sexual dimorphism;all male have two
yellow round patches on the undersurface of the neck,whereas they are absent in females.
2. The white color on the foreside lower margin of ear is aberrant coloration. Among the specimens examined,two are white in the middle one third, with black above and below, in nine specimens the basal half is white and the upper half black;the total margin of the ear is white in eleven specimens; three specimens are white on one side,and black on other side.
3. Small,sparse papillae on the inner side of the lips also is aberrant. Among the specimens,nine present small
sparse papillae on the inner side of the lips,while this is absent in seventeen specimens.
4. As for color of the pelage,the description of the subspecies of Sphaerias blanfordi motuoensis being uniformly bluebrown differs from that of S. b. blanfordi described by Feng et al. (1986). However,according to several authors,
the specimens of S. b. blanfordi from India, Nepal, Myanmar,Thailand and Vietnam are dull grayish brown on the
dorsal and ventral surfaces (Andersen,1912; Tate,1947; Lekagul and McNerely,1977; Bates and Harrison,
1997;Burissenko and Kruskop,2003). After examining the pelage colour of the specimens in Yunnan and Tibet we consider them similar to the pelage colour of S. b. blanfordi reported by the afore-mentioned authors.
So,Sphaerias blanfordi motuoensis Cai and Zhang,1980 is an invalid subspecies,while, the specimens recorded from
Mt. Tay Con Linh Ⅱ (northern Vietnam)by Lunde et al. (2003) have longer forearms [57 ± 1.8 (52 -61)mm. ] (n= 43), and larger skull, [CBL 7.6 ± 0.80 (26. 1- 28. 8)mm. ] (n = 16), C1 - C1 [6.6 ± 0. 3 (6.2 - 7.2)mm. ] (n = 16). It might be a new subspecies.

Key words: words:Blanford’s fruit bat (Sphaerias blanfordi), Subspecies differentiation, Southern Asia

摘要: :球果蝠Sphaerias blanfordi (Thomas,1891)是亚洲南部喜马拉雅- 印度支那地区的特有种,甚为罕见而少有报道。曾被认为是单型种,几乎无雄性特征的描述。蔡桂全和张迺治(1980)根据采自西藏东南部墨脱的2只雄性标本订了一亚种—墨脱亚种Sphaerias blanfordi motuoensis,其主要特征是颈下侧有一对灰黄色的圆形毛斑。中国科学院昆明动物研究所先后在云南西北部高黎贡山地区采获25 号标本(9 ♂♂,16♀♀),发现球果蝠两性在外形上有明显的性别差异,雄性的颈下侧有一对圆形、灰黄色的刷状毛斑,但雌性均无;对比墨脱标本,认为墨脱亚种的鉴别特征不可靠,亚种不能成立。Lunde (2003)曾报道采自越南北部Mt Tay Con Linh Ⅱ地区的43号标本,其前臂长和上犬齿外宽明显与印度、缅甸和云南西北部高黎贡山地区的标本不同,可能是真正的地理亚种。

关键词: 球果蝠Sphaerias blanfordi, 亚种分化, 亚洲南部