Date of this Version
Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2021) band 14: 187-206.
Ergebnisse der Mongolisch-Deutschen Biologischen Expeditionen seit 1962, Nr. 347.
The occurrence of two members of the genus Hypsugo, namely H. alaschanicus and H. savii caucasicus, have been reported for Mongolia in the literature. Due to various taxonomic reassignments within and between genera, the number of records for the genus Hypsugo in Mongolia is quite scarce and sometimes not resolved at species or subspecies level. Despite recognition of the two above-mentioned species, recent reports based on genetic analyses describe only new and further records of H. alaschanicus. Thus, it exists a large uncertainty regarding the occurrence and distribution of H. savii caucasicus in Mongolia. Here, our efforts in gaining a deeper understanding towards the occurrence and distribution of Hypsugo species in Mongolia are described.
A combination of genetic and morphological analyses of collected material from Hypsugo specimens revealed the existence of a genetically largely distant Hypsugo clade. Therefore, a new and cryptic Hypsugo species is proposed which is named after Prof. Dr. Michael Stubbe for his continuous, long-standing and significant contributions into the biological exploration of Mongolia. Hypsugo stubbei sp. nov. differs by at least 8.4 % and 9 % to the closest Western Palearctic distributed H. cf. darwinii and H. savii as well as at least 11.3 % to the Easter Palearctic (including Mongolia) distributed H. alaschanicus based on the first 798 nucleotides of the gene encoding the mitochondrial ND1 (subunit one of NADH dehydrogenase). Neither a close proximity species based on the gene encoding the mitochondrial COI (cytochrome oxidase subunit one) could be found in publicly accessible nucleotide databases. While the cryptic H. stubbei sp. nov. reveals no obvious cranial and morphological differences, few external characteristics are dissimilar to both H. alaschanicus and H. savii (caucasicus). Currently, Hypsugo stubbei sp. nov. was found at four different locations in Mongolia. Among the 11 specimens captured, six facilitated a genetic assignment. Based on the current scarce data records, the species seems to occur mainly in the far west of Mongolia inhabiting semi-deserts and steppes up to high mountain areas. An overlapping distribution with H. alaschanicus cannot be excluded based on the limited data currently available.