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Geographic Variation in the Fishing Bat, Noctilio leporinus

William B. Davis
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1379081 862-874 First published online: 14 December 1973


Based on study of 388 specimens of Noctilio leporinus from throughout the range of the species, three geographic areas of differentiation can be recognized. One is the rim of the Caribbean Basin where the bats are large in size and, although variable in color, usually have a distinct but pale middorsal stripe. The appropriate name for these bats is Noctilio leporinus mastivus (Vahl). The second area includes the Guianas and the Amazon Basin where the bats are small in size, dark in color, and often without a pale middorsal stripe. For these bats the earliest name appears to be Noctilio leporinus leporinus (Linnaeus). The third area includes eastern Bolivia and the drainage basin of the Río Paraná south of the Brazilian Highlands and north of latitude 30° S where individuals tend to be the largest and palest of the species. The earliest name for these bats appears to be Noctilio leporinus rufescens Olfers.

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