A Phylogeny of the Neotropical Nectar-Feeding Bats (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) Based on Morphological and Molecular Data
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- Carstens, B.C., Lundrigan, B.L. & Myers, P. Journal of Mammalian Evolution (2002) 9: 23. doi:10.1023/A:1021331711108
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We present a phylogeny of 35 species of nectar-feeding bats based on 119 morphological characters: 62 from the skin, skull, and dentition and 57 soft tissue characters (the latter from Wetterer et al., 2000). These data support monophyly of the subfamilies Brachyphyllinae, Phyllonycterinae, and Glossophaginae, and the tribes Glossophagini and Lonchophyllini. Our analysis contradicts the phylogeny estimated from the RAG-2 gene, which does not support a monophyletic Glossophaginae (Baker et al., 2000). Parsimony analysis of a combined matrix, containing morphological characters and RAG-2 sequences, results in a phylogeny that includes Brachyphyllinae and Phyllonycterinae in Glossophaginae. Support for most clades is stronger than in the morphological tree, but support for basal nodes of the phylogeny remains weak. The weak support at these basal nodes underscores the historical disagreements regarding relationships among these taxa; combining morphological and molecular data has not improved support for these nodes. Uncertainty regarding basal relationships complicates description of morphological change during the evolution of nectarivory in the Phyllostomidae.