Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy



Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Nathan Muchhala


Ivan Jiménez

Patricia G. Parker

Robert J. Marquis


This dissertation addresses several aspects of the diversity and species limits in the nectarivorous bat genus Anoura Gray 1838(Chiroptera: Glossophaginae). Based on morphometric approaches, the current taxonomic arrangement for Anoura includes 8 to 10 species; however, previous taxonomic revisions did not include all closely related species in the genus. In Chapter 1, I investigate the identity of Anoura carishina and its position in the morphospace of the large-bodied Anoura using craniodental and external variables. I analyze traits thought to be diagnostic for these species, including 1) an elliptical Fourier transformation analysis of the shape of the third upper premolar (P4); 2) a comparison of the area of the second (P3) and third (P4) upper premolars; and 3) a comparison of maxillary toothrow angles. I find that A. carishina is morphologically indistinguishable from A. latidens, and that there is broad overlap in morphology between A. latidens and the A. geoffroyi species complex. Overall, results suggest that a stable taxonomy for the group should consider A. carishina as a junior synonym of A. latidens, and that A. latidens is distinguishable from A. geoffroyi. In Chapter 2, I study the species limits of Anourafrom a statistical perspective, based on characters that were generally used to describe species in the genus. I use Gaussian Mixture Models in order to find groups among 581 individual specimens in the phenotypic space defined by 12 cranial and 11 external morphological characters. The morphometric analyses using Gaussian Mixture Models do not support a clear separation within either large-bodied or small-bodied Anoura species. In Chapter 3, I address the phylogenetic relationships within Anoura by sequencing ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and inferring species trees under quartet-based methods and multispecies coalescent models. Phylogenetic analyses obtained four main well-supported clades supporting the monophyly of the proposed large- and small-bodied species complexes within Anoura, the monotypic status of A. caudifer, and the invalidation of A. aequatoris and A. peruana as independent species. This dissertation presents a thorough taxonomic revision, providing a dichotomous key and the most complete phylogenetic hypothesis to date for Anoura.

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