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Published November 18, 2022 | Version v1.0
Taxonomic treatment Open

On the taxonomy of Myotis keenii and Myotis evotis


Author's note: this taxonomic decision is part of a series by members of the Global Bat Taxonomy Working Group to help settle ongoing disputes in the taxonomic literature and suggest targets for data collection.  See the concise conclusion below as well as the full article with background and justification in PDF & DOCX formats for download.



We recommend the following:

  1. The burden of proof should be on overturning the species-level status of Myotis keenii, which has been recognized consistently by taxonomic authorities since 1979 and is thus the prevailing usage in need of rebuttal (see Simpson (1945)). Furthermore, in light of recent suggestions by Morales et al. (2017) that currently recognized subspecies of Myotis lucifugus should be considered distinct full species, retaining M. keenii as a distinct species, pending further analyses, reduces the risk of multiple changes and hence promotes taxonomic stability;
  2. Full genome-wide data on the sharing of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; e.g., using ddRADseq or shotgun sequencing aligned to a reference genome) should be gathered across the geographic distributions of both M. evotis and M. keenii;
  3. A portion of the geographic samples should be vouchered so that all relevant cranial and skeletal measurements can be directly compared to genetic data; and
  4. These analyses should include specimens from the type localities of M. keenii, and each of the currently recognized subspecies of M. evotis, at least for those subspecies known to occur in the USA and Canada (evotis, pacificus, chrysonotus and jonesorum) (or even the types themselves for those that are still extant and in a condition that would allow for archival DNA sequencing).


On the taxonomy of Myotis keenii and Myotis evotis - Nov 2022.pdf

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