Date of this Version
Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2021) band 14: 123-185.
Ergebnisse der Mongolisch-Deutschen Biologischen Expeditionen seit 1962, Nr. 353.
The Palaearctic is a zoogeographical region where knowledge of the distribution, taxonomy and ecology of bats (Chiroptera) is generally quite extensive. However, for many Palaearctic subregions, including Mongolia, detailed knowledge is still quite scarce. Also for some groups of species there are only few studies available to date. This holds also true for the long-eared bats of the genus Plecotus. For the long-eared bats, which live in close family groups and do not migrate over long distances, the development of different life form types can be expected. Studies tackling this are so far lacking.
The fundamental revision of the genus Plecotus by SPITZENBERGER et al. (2006) on the basis of morphological and genetic studies was a stimulus for us to examine and revaluate our material according to these criteria. Furthermore, we took into account our gathered ecological knowledge from various field expeditions to all parts of this large and geographically diverse country with its extreme climatic conditions.
Here we present our latest investigations and results on the morphology, phylogeny and ecology of the Mongolian Plecotus species. Sample material from two different sources have been morphologically and genetically investigated, namely material
1. from our field expeditions “Chiroptera Mongolia” (1999 to 2019) of the “Landesfachausschuss Säugetierkunde ” (LFA Säugetierkunde) des Naturschutzbundes in Brandenburg und Berlin together with Mongolian zoologists, and
2. from many field expeditions of Michael Stubbe and Annegret Stubbe together with Mongolian zoologists collected by Mongolian-German Biological Expeditions since 1962.
For distribution maps of the individual species observations kindly provide by other colleagues are additionally integrated.
Genetic analyses based on the mitochondrial 16S-RNA (16S) and the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) gene in combination with morphological studies, especially craniometric and dental characteristics, encourage us to propose a new Plecotus species (Plecotus gobiensis n. sp.) living in semi-arid areas of Mongolia. In addition, a cryptic subspecies (Plecotus ognevi nömrögi n. ssp.) may occur in the eastern steppes revealing moderate genetic but distinct morphological differences to Plecotus ognevi. The species and subspecies of the long-eared bats of the genus Plecotus currently detected in Mongolia are presented and genetically, morphologically and ecologically described in detail along with the currently known species distribution. Our report comprises the following species: Plecotus ognevi Kishida, 1927; Plecotus kozlovi Bobrinskii, 1926; Plecotus gobiensis n. sp. and Plecotus strelkovi Spitzenberger, 2006 as well as the subspecies Plecotus ognevi nömrögi n. ssp.