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Ultraviolet Light Reveals Cryptic Markings in Greater Antillean Long-tongued Bats (Monophyllus redmani) from Puerto Rico

Allen Kurta1,*, Cara Rogers1,2, Haley J. Gmutza3, Ashley K. Wilson1, Brian A. Schaetz1, Olivia M. Münzer1,4, Robin M. Kurta5, and Mark Kurta1

1Department of Biology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. 2Current address – Burns & McDonnell, 9450 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114. 3Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210. 4Current address – North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, NC 27606. 5Beatty Early Learning Center, Ypsilanti, MI 48197. *Corresponding author.

Journal of North American Bat Research, Volume 1 (2023): 1–14

Many Monophyllus redmani (Greater Antillean Long-tongued Bat) from Puerto Rico possessed small patches of white hairs that were difficult to discern in normal light, but they were easily differentiated under ultraviolet. Using photos taken with ultraviolet light, we showed that 53% of 91 adults possessed piebald spots; these marks were more common in females (67%) than males (29%), and spotting was more extensive in females than males. Individual bats could be identified, based on their markings. Similar spots occurred on museum specimens of M. redmani, from Hispaniola and Jamaica, and on M. plethodon (Insular Single-leaf Bat), from the Lesser Antilles. Determining the frequency, extent, and pattern of spotting may be another tool for examining gene flow among the islands of the West Indies.

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