Phylogenetic relationships of five members of the family Vespertilionidae (Chiroptera) from Malaysian Borneo




Pacheco, Pablo Ricardo Rodriguez

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Several studies have been conducted to refine the historically unclear phylogeny of chiropterans within the family Vespertilionidae. However, the phylogenetic affinities of some taxa remain poorly resolved. My objective was to clarify the classification and phylogenetic affinities of five species (Pipistrellus petersi, Glischropus tylopus, Hesperoptenus tomesi, Philetor brachypterus, and Arielulus cuprosus) using DNA sequence data from the 12S rRNA mitochondrial gene and RAG2 nuclear gene. A total of 587 nucleotides of the 12S rRNA gene were aligned for 35 taxa, and for nuclear marker RAG2, 1231 nucleotides were aligned for 40 taxa. I performed maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference phylogenetic analyses on these taxa. Although resolution was poor overall, A. cuprosus and H. tomesi clustered with tribe Nycticeiini/Eptesicini, with Philetor brachypterus clustering with Hesperoptenus. Furthermore, Pipistrellus petersi clustered within the Hypsugine group instead of the predicted tribe Pipistrellini. Lastly, G. tylopus formed a polytomy with members of various tribes. There has been a uniform lack of resolution for this family in recent literature and the results presented here similarly provide unresolved relationships.



phylogeny of chiropterans, Vespertilionidae, 12S rRNA mitochondrial gene, RAG2 nuclear gene, Hesperoptenus, Hypsugine, Bayesian inference, phylogenetic analyses