You may have heard of the Painted Woolly bat (Kerivoula picta) which is famous for its bright orange and broken coloration. But you may not know there is a group of Whiskered bats (Myotis spp.) also “painted” in Southeast Asia. Chyrsopteron is a subgenus of Myotis, representing species characterized by bright orange and black coloration in Asia and Africa. The subgenus is distinguished from its darker-colored conspecifics by its unique coloration and some crainiodential characters. However, the validation of this subgenus and taxonomy of Asian Chyrsopteron have not been revised comprehensively until the very recent study by Dr. Gábor Csorba and his collaborators.
The research team claimed six Chyrsopteron species from Asia and recognized Chyrsopteron as a valid taxonomic name. All the six species are large Myotis bats with beautiful yellowish or reddish orange fur and black patches on wings. In addition, a red form Chyrsopteron which previously known as “M. formosus” and widely-distributed in Asia, now is identified as M. refoniger instead.
Photos by Joe Chun-Chia Huang and Dr hao-Chih Kou
The findings are the output of collaboration among ten researchers from nine institutes of seven countries through Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Europe. Again, this study highlights the significance of cross-region cooperation in understanding bat diversity in the region.
Citation: Gábor Csorba, Cheng-Han Chou, Manuel Ruedi, Tamás Görföl, Masaharu Motokawa, Sigit Wiantoro, Vu Dinh Thong, Nguyen Truong Son, Liang-Kong Lin, and Neil Furey. 2014. The reds and the yellows: a review of Asian Chrysopteron Jentink, 1910(Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae: Myotis). Journal of Mammalogy, 95(4):663–678