Mitochondrial DNA sequencing of 63 samples of bats from the genus Plecotus, from Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige, allowed us to determine for the first time the presence of the new species Plecotus macrobullaris Kuzjakin, 1965, in Lombardy. This taxon has been recently described, using genetic techniques, as a new species, also using tissue samples from individuals captured in Trento Province, that represented the first record in Italy. Recent taxonomic studies on the genus Plecotus have revealed the presence of four cryptic species in Italy: in addition to P. macrobullaris there are P. austriacus, P. auritus, P. sardus, the only endemic Italian bat species. Since no discriminant function based on morphometric parameters is currently available, only genetic techniques allow to discriminate exactly the different species. Mitochondrial DNA sequencing allowed us to assign 18 out of 33 bats (55%) of the genus Plecotus caught in Lombardy to P. macrobullaris, the others to P. auritus. Moreover, four reproductive roosts of P. alpinus were identified, all in buildings. The species was never found in caves, in contrast with P. auritus. The presence of this new species in Lombardy should activate large-scale monitoring to define species distribution and habitat preferences, finalised to define population status and conservation strategies.
First record of the alpine long-eared bat (Plecotus macrobullaris Kuzjakin, 1965) in Lombardy revealed by DNA analysis / TRIZIO I; PREATONI D; CHIRICHELLA R; MATTIROLI S; NODARI M; CREMA S; TOSI G; MARTINOLI A. - In: NATURA BRESCIANA. - ISSN 0391-156X. - 34:(2005), pp. 143-147.