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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 Oct;49(1):44-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.07.001. Epub 2008 Jul 8.

Molecular systematics of the genus Artibeus (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae).

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Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av Antonio Carlos, 6627-C.P. 486, 31270-010 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


A molecular phylogeny of the genus Artibeus using 19 of the 20 recognized species, many with samples from a broad geographic range, is presented. The analysis shows a clear distinction between the two subgenera (or genera), the 'large'Artibeus and the 'small'Dermanura, in both mitochondrial and nuclear genes. The placement and status of A. concolor remains inconclusive and is presented as the third subgenus Koopmania. The phylogenies and divergence time estimates show a marked influence of the Andes in the formation of the subgenera and the main lineages inside each subgenus. Nuclear genes showed a highly incomplete lineage sorting among species inside subgenera Artibeus and Dermanura. Indeed, shared alleles were also found between Artibeus and Koopmania, which are presumed to have split apart during the Miocene, showing that great care should be taken in using these markers. Cytochrome-b gene divergences and monophyly analyses suggest that A. lituratus and A. intermedius are indeed conspecifics. These analyses also suggested the existence of at least four 'new' species revealing a significant cryptic diversity inside the genus.

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