Lesser short-nosed fruit bat, Cynopterus brachyotis


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Cynopterus brachyotis
The Cynopterus brachyotis [1] type specimen was collected from the Dewei River in Borneo by Müller on 12 September 1836[3], Naga Cave near Jammut on the Teweh River, Borneo (as communicated by Dr C. Smeenk to this author in 2005). Vernacularly known as the short-nosed fruit bat, it is a small bat (weight 21-32 g, 0.7-1 oz) that occurs in most habitats (but most frequently in disturbed forest) including lower montane forest, dipterocarp forest, gardens, mangrove and strand vegetation[4]. It prefers to roost in small groups in trees, under leaves, and in caves. C. brachyotis is widely distributed in Sri Lanka, southwest India, northeast India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, southern China, southern Burma, Indochina, Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, the Philippines and also on the Lesser Sunda Islands; from sea level up to 1600 m in Borneo[5][6][7][8][9]
There are nine
subspecies of C. brachyotis[10]. The nominate subspecies C. b. brachyotis is distributed in Borneo, Lombok, Peninsular Malaysia, the Philippines and Sulawesi. It is found widespread from sea level to 1,600 meters in altitude[10]. Forearm length is 55-65 mm (2.1-2.6 in), tail length is 8-10 mm (0.3-0.4 in), and ear length is 14-16 mm (0.5-0.6 in) (Payne et al. 1985). C.b. altitudinis is confined to the highlands of Peninsular Malaysia, from the Cameron Highlands to Gunung Bunga Buah[10]. C.b. brachysoma is found on the Andaman Islands; C.b. cylonensis in Sri Lanka; C.b. concolor in Enggano; C.b. hoffetti in Vietnam; C.b. insularum on the Kangean Islands; C.b. javanicus on Java; and C.b. minutus on Nias[10].
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Large-size C. brachyotis
Corbet and Hill[8] listed 19 synonyms of C. brachyotis, which include: Pachysoma brachyotis, P. duvaucelii, P. brevicaudatum, P. luzoniense, C. grandidieri, C. marginatus var. scherzeri, C. marginatus var. ceylonensis, C. marginatus var. philippensis, C. marginatus var. cuminggii, C. marginatus var. andamanensis, C. brachyoma, C. montanoi, C. minutus, C. minor, C. babi, C. archipelagus and C. nusatenggara. Kitchener and Maharadatunkamsi[2] considered luzoniensis and minutus as separate species while Hill and Thonglongya[11] transferred angulatus to C. sphinx.
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Habitat of large-sized C. brachyotis
Hill and Thonglongya[11] observed that the treatments of C. brachyotis and C. sphinx by Andersen[1] were contradictory. Kitchener and Maharadatunkamsi[2] considered C. minutus a species and not a subspecies of C. brachyotis while C. luzoniensis is a species and not a synonym of C. b. brachyotis. Due to these controversies and difficulties surrounding these species, Corbet and Hill[8] suggested that further detailed studies are needed on the taxonomy of these species.