Print version ISSN 1984-4670
MORATELLI, Ricardo and OLIVEIRA, João Alves de. Morphometric and morphological variation in South American populations of Myotis albescens (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Zoologia (Curitiba) [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.6, pp. 789-802. ISSN 1984-4670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1984-46702011000600013.
Myotis albescens (É. Geoffroy, 1806) occurs from Mexico to Uruguay and Argentina. Despite a large number of specimens in collections, its variability in South America has been underestimated, potentially leading to errors in identification. In order to clarify the taxonomic limits of M. albescens and to evaluate previous hypotheses of geographic variation in size we analyzed the type material and studied the variability in South American samples using multivariate exploratory and confirmatory procedures, as well as frequency analyses of discrete morphological data. The presence of a fringe of hairs along the trailing edge of the uropatagium, the long and silky pelage with frosted appearance on the dorsum, ear 9 to 14 mm long, broad interorbital and postorbital constrictions, and a globular braincase were identified as the most useful traits to distinguish M. albescens from its South American congeners. In agreement with Bergman's rule, larger specimens were found in the South. Beyond the geographic component, Individual variation is an important factor affecting the variability in the size and shape of the skull and pelage color.
Keywords : Myotis; Myotinae; South America; taxonomy.