Hyderabad: OU scientist discovers new species of Bat in Coorg

Hyderabad: Eminent zoology scientist from Osmania University Dr Bhargavi Srinivasulu, along with her son, Aditya Srinivasulu, has discovered a new species of bat from Karnataka’s Coorg.

The mother-son duo have named their discovery, ‘Miniopetrus srinii Srini’s Bent-winged Bat’, discovered in a cave in Makuta of Kodagu district (Coorg).

The research papers were submitted on Saturday and the expert committee cleared the papers and conferred the rare honour.

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“We collected the specimens of bats from a large subterranean cave in the dense jungles of Western Ghats in Makuta, we doubted that this could be a cryptic species of bat, which we had tentatively identified as the Small Bent-winged Bat,” said Dr Bhargavi.

Found in southern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australia, New Caledonia and Vanuatu, Bent-winged Bats are small-sized bats that live in large colonies of a few hundred individuals in caves.

According to the researchers, with the discovery of the new species, the number of bent-winged bats in India has increased from 4 to 5.

The specimens of bats were collected from a large subterranean cave in the dense jungles of the Western Ghats in Makuta. The Small Bent-winged Bat is reported from the Nicobar Islands, peninsular India, Nepal and Northeast India.

Talking about the multiple works they undertook in discovering the new bats, Dr Bhargavi said, “Our research on Andaman bats has revealed that the fauna on the islands are genetically different from those on mainland India. We conducted morphological, cranial, echolocation and genetic studies to determine the relationship between the Makuta specimens and others.”

A peer-reviewed scientific mega journal for animal taxonomists named Zootaxa has published the description of the new species that were named in honour of Prof C Srinivasulu, a bat biologist working at the varsity.

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