Multiple colonisations of the western Indian Ocean by Pteropus fruit bats (Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae): the furthest islands were colonised first.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We investigate the genetic relationships between purported island species of Pteropus fruit bat (Megachiroptera) from the western Indian Ocean islands using mitochondrial DNA sequencing in order to infer the pattern of colonisation of this biogeographic region. Most significantly, our genetic data questions the current taxonomic assignment based on morphology of many of the island species and subspecies, suggesting instead that many of the western Indian Ocean islands harbour 'races' of P. giganteus from mainland India. Our results strongly argue against a single colonisation event from mainland Asia. Evidence is presented for three colonisation events; the first to the western-most extremity of their range (Comoros and Pemba Island), the second to Rodrigues Island; and a third giving rise to the remaining extant island taxa, the latter two events occurring relatively recently and rapidly.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • O'Brien, J; Mariani, C; Olson, L; Russell, AL; Say, L; Yoder, AD; Hayden, TJ

Published Date

  • May 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 294 - 303

PubMed ID

  • 19249376

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9513

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1055-7903

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.02.010


  • eng