First record of Miller's mastiff bat, Molossus pretiosus (Mammalia: Chiroptera), from the Brazilian Caatinga

Marcelo R. Nogueiro, André Pol, Leandro R. Monteiro, Adriano L. Peracchi


Herein, we report the occurrence of Molossus pretiosus in the region of Jaíba, northern part of the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil. This is the second Brazilian record for this molossid, and it is the first documentation from the Caatinga biome. This bat is a common roof dweller in Jaíba, and was frequently captured in nets set near bodies of water. Numbers of individuals found at roosts were small (<10), and included reproductively active females in a harem-like formation (single-male with multi-females). Reproductive activity was associated with the rainy season, and there was within-group synchronization of pregnancy. Specimens captured away from roosts were obtained in nets set over or adjacent to water sources in habitats ranging from anthropic fields to well preserved arboreal caatingas. A mensural analysis based on 17 specimens (12 females and 5 males) confirmed secondary sexual dimorphism (5 out of 10 variables), and revealed little size variation among localities from Brazil and Central America. M. pretiosus is similar to M. rufus but averages smaller in size. M. pretiosus is the fourth bat species that, in Brazil, is restricted to the open habitats, such as the Caatinga, Cerrado, and Pantanal that separate the forested habitats of Amazônia and Mata Atlântica.

Keywords: Molossidae, Molossus rufus, distribution, South America, natural history, mensural analysis.

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