Desmodus rotundus (E. Geoffroy, 1810)

Velazco, Paúl M., Voss, Robert S., Fleck, David W. & Simmons, Nancy B., 2021, Mammalian Diversity And Matses Ethnomammalogy In Amazonian Peru Part 4: Bats, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2021 (451), pp. 1-201 : 38-39

publication ID 10.1206/0003-0090.451.1.1

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Desmodus rotundus


Desmodus rotundus (Geoffroy St.-Hilaire, 1810)

Figure 9 View FIG

VOUCHER MATERIAL (TOTAL = 8): Estación Biológica Madre Selva (MUSM 31781), Isla Muyuy (MUSM 21145), Jenaro Herrera (AMNH 278473; CEBIOMAS 98; MUSM 845, 846, 867, 868); see table 20 for measurements.

UNVOUCHERED OBSERVATIONS: We captured a single individual of Desmodus rotundus at El Chino Village on 16 February 2019. This species was also recorded using acoustic methods during the CEBIO bat course at Jenaro Herrera.

IDENTIFICATION: Desmodus rotundus can be easily distinguished from other vampires by the


External and Craniodental Measurements (mm) and Weights (g) of Desmodus rotundus

from the Yavarí-Ucayali Interfluve

following characteristics: thumb greatly elongated (> 13 mm), longer than hind foot, and with two basal pads; dark wingtips; calcar reduced to a wartlike excrescence; ventral sulcus present on tongue; inner lower incisors bilobed; and a single upper molar on each side (Goodwin and Greenhall, 1961; Kwon and Gardner, 2008; Cirranello et al., 2016; López-Baucells et al., 2018). Descriptions and measurements were provided by Goodwin and Greenhall (1961), Husson (1962, 1978), Swanepoel and Genoways (1979), Greenhall et al. (1983), Brosset and Charles-Dominique (1990), Simmons and Voss (1998), and Velazco and Patterson (2019). Some authors (e.g., Greenhall et al., 1983; Kwon and Gardner, 2008) have recognized two subspecies: D. r. murinus (northwestern Mexico south to the Pacific lowlands and western slope of the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru) and D. r. rotundus ( Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas, the Amazon basin of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia, south to Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina). In contrast, other authors (e.g., Koopman, 1988; Simmons, 2005) have noted that, although considerable morphological varia- tion exists across the distributional range of D. rotundus , this variation is not sufficiently clearly patterned to warrant assigning subspecies status to any populations. Although analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences support the recognition of five distinct geographical clades (Martins et al., 2007; Martins et al., 2009), morphometric studies and limited analyses of nuclear DNA have thus far not provided sufficient corroborating evidence that these clades are anything more than haplogroups (Martins et al., 2009; Martins and Hubbe, 2012). Accordingly, we follow Koopman (1988) and Simmons (2005) in not recognizing subspecies of D. rotundus .

Ascorra et al. (1993) correctly identified the material he reported from Jenaro Herrera. All the voucher material we examined from the Yavarí-Ucayali interfluve conforms to previous descriptions of Desmodus rotundus , with measurements that fall within the range of size variation previously documented for this species.

REMARKS: Of 20 recorded captures of Desmodus rotundus in the Yavarí-Ucayali interfluve, 17 were made in ground-level mistnets, 2 in elevated mistnets, and 1 in a harp trap. Of these captures, 9 were made in primary forest, 8 in secondary vegetation, and 3 in clearings. No roosting groups of this species were encountered during our study. Wilson et al. (1996) plausibly attributed the abundance of this species at Jenaro Herrera to the local abundance of cattle among farms adjacent to the research station.