Ospina S. y E. De Luna. 2017

Phylogenetic analysis of landmark data and the evolution of cranial shape and diets in species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). ZOOMORPHOLOGY 136(2): 251-265.


Species in genus Myotis exhibit a pattern of cranial variation associated with insectivorous, facultative piscivorous, and truly piscivorous diets, which has not been studied in a phylogenetic context. Variation in landmark configurations of five cranial structures in 22 Myotis species was analyzed with phylogenetic methods to infer evolution of shape. Our goals were to detect changes in cranial morphology and to correlate these with concerted changes among diets. A reference phylogeny was estimated using a combined data matrix with previously available Cyt-b and RAG2 sequences and our five configurations of landmarks. We included the insectivorous Kerivoula papillosa Temminck, 1840, Noctilio leporinus Linnaeus, 1758 (piscivorous), and N. albiventris Desmarest, 1818 (insectivorous) as out-groups. The optimization of five landmark configurations on the combined phylogeny shows no evidence of convergent shape changes among species with similar piscivorous diets. Our findings document that facultative piscivory does not imply the same particular morphotype. In four cranial features, there is small shape change between estimated ancestral shapes and seven observed descendant shapes for the piscivorous species. Only the mandible shows major changes from insectivorous ancestors to facultative piscivorous or piscivorous Myotis.


Piscivory Geometric morphometrics Myotis Phylogenetic morphometrics 

Fig. 3 Concerted change in shape, diet, and trawling in the combined phylogeny of Myotis (as in Fig. 2). Colors of branches and taxon names indicate similar diets; facultatively, piscivorous bats are marked in grey, piscivorous species in black dotted line and bold, insectivorous species in black. The foraging strategy is indicated with a label after taxon name, A aerial-hawking, T trawling, and OG overgleaning. At nodes 47, 40, 28, 48, and 35, the landmark configuration is the estimated ancestral shape of the process area (character 3). Double headed arrows show tendency of change. Arrows point to landmark displacements in character 3 interpreted as homoplasy in facultatively piscivorous species. Concerted changes between shape and diet are marked with five half filled circles on branches. In all landmark configurations, deformation vectors at each point indicate displacements from the ancestral configurations to each of the descendant configurations, as optimized with spatial parsimony with TNT.