Dispersal out of Wallacea spurs diversification of Pteropus flying foxes, the world's largest bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera).

Journal of Biogeography
Susan M. TsangDavid J Lohman


Islands provide opportunities for isolation and speciation. Many landmasses in the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA) are oceanic islands, and founder-event speciation is expected to be the predominant form of speciation of volant taxa on these islands. We studied the biogeographic history of flying foxes, a group with many endemic species and a predilection for islands, to test this hypothesis and infer the biogeographic origin of the group. Australasia, Indo-Australian Archipelago, Madagascar, Pacific Islands. Pteropus (Pteropodidae). To infer the biogeographic history of Pteropus, we sequenced up to 6169 bp of genetic data from 10 markers and reconstructed a multilocus species tree of 34 currently recognized Pteropus species and subspecies with 3 Acerodon outgroups using BEAST and subsequently estimated ancestral areas using models implemented in BioGeoBEARS. Species-level resolution was occasionally low because of slow rates of molecular evolution and/or recent divergences. Older divergences, however, were more strongly supported and allow the evolutionary history of the group to be inferred. The genus diverged in Wallacea from its common ancestor with Acerodon; founder-event speciation out of Wallacea was a common inference...Continue Reading


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