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Braz J Biol. 2008 Nov;68(4):897-904.

Sexual size dimorphism in Myotis nigricans (Schinz, 1821) (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from south Brazil.

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  • 1Departamento de Biologia Animal, Instituto de Bioci├¬ncias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, 91540-000. reborn@terra.com.br


Among Vespertilionidae species, sexual size dimorphism is very well documented, in which females are larger than males. The differences are mainly in body weight, skull measurements and forearm length. Studies have discussed some hypothesis for this phenomenon. However, very little information is known about sexual size dimorphism in Myotis nigricans (Schinz, 1821) in Brazil. In this sense, the goal of this paper is to present a study of this phenomenon in the species. For this, we present a quantitative analysis of sexual size dimorphism assessed by traditional morphometrics. Ten skull measurements in addition to the forearm length of adult specimens were taken. Results of traditional morphometrics revealed sexual size dimorphism in five skull measurements and in the forearm length. Females were larger than males. These differences can be attributed to natural selection on large female size for increase fecundity. Bat females of the Vespertilionidae family are usually larger than males in order to perform parental care appropriately and to provide a successful reproductive process.

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