New species of bamboo-dwelling bat found in Meghalaya

What is the News?

Scientists have discovered a new species of bamboo-dwelling bat named Glischropus meghalayanus in Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya.

Note: Bamboo-dwelling bats are a particular kind of bats living in the internodes of bamboos with specialized morphological characteristics that help them to adapt to the life inside a bamboo. 

About Glischropus Meghalayanus

It is a bamboo-dwelling thick-thumbed bat species found near the forested patch of Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary.

The species is small in size and has a dark brown colour with a sulphur-yellow belly.

Significance: This discovery is the first report of a thick-thumbed bat not only from India but also from South Asia.

Note: Thick-thumbed bats of the genus Glischropus are currently composed of four recognized species from Southeast Asia, two of which were described in recent times.

What were the recent discoveries in Meghalaya?

In the past few years, three bamboo-dwelling bats have been reported from the area which highlights the ecological significance of the region.

For instance, from the same forested patches outside Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary, another species of a disk-footed bat “Eudiscopus denticulus” was discovered recently.

Bamboo Bat Species in India

With this new discovery, the total number of bat species known from India stands at 131. Meghalaya has the highest bat diversity in the country with 67 species, which is about 51% of the total bat species in the country.

The unique caves in Meghalaya provided roosting opportunities for a large number of bats. For instance, there are a number of cave-dwelling bats species from Meghalaya, the most common being the Horseshoe bat and Leaf-nosed bats.

Source: The post is based on the article “New species of bamboo-dwelling bat found in Meghalaya” published in The Hindu on 16th June 2022.

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