Systematics of Vampyressa melissa Thomas, 1926 (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae), with descriptions of two new species of Vampyressa. (American Museum novitates, no. 3813)

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American Museum of Natural History.
Vampyressa melissa is a poorly known phyllostomid bat listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Since its description in 1926, fewer than 40 V. melissa have been reported in the literature, and less than half of these may have been correctly identified. During revisionary studies of Vampyressa, we uncovered two previously unrecognized species related to V. melissa, all associated with higher elevation habitats (>1400 m), one from the Andes of Colombia (Vampyressa sinchi, new species) and the other from western Panama (Vampyressa elisabethae, new species) revealing that V. melissa, as traditionally defined, is a composite of at least three species. In this paper, we provide a restricted diagnosis for the genus Vampyressa, an emended diagnosis of V. melissa, and descriptions of the two new species. The separation of these frugivorous bats, previously identified as V. melissa, into three isolated upper-elevation species, each having restricted distributions further highlights their fragile conservation status.
27 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), map ; 26 cm.
Vampyressa melissa., Vampyressa sinchi., Vampyressa elisabethae., Vampyressa., Bats., Rare mammals., Mountain animals., Panama., Andes (Colombia), Colombia., Andes Region., Latin America.