CIBIO-InBIO project discovers a new species of Bat for Portugal

Hugo Rebelo. Myotis alcathoe capturado em 2005 no Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês
Myotis alcathoe is the name of the new species that is now included in a list that presents 27 species of bats known in continental Portugal

The finding, now published in the Biodiversity Data Journal, was made by a team of researchers from the Centre for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources Research (CIBIO-InBIO), University of Porto, during the project InBIO Barcoding Initiative Database: Portuguese Bats (Chiroptera), which aims to disseminate DNA barcode data from bats in Portugal.

The application of the DNA Barcoding technique to 25 samples of bat species, collected between 2005 and 2018, revealed, surprisingly, that after all the data collection covered a new species for continental Portugal. The bat species now confirmed corresponds to an individual captured in 2005 in the Peneda-Gerês National Park and its identity went unnoticed until researchers carried out the study now published. The new species Myotis alcathoe, Alcathoe bat, was previously identified as Myotis mystacinus given its great morphological similarities.

The study was developed within the PORBIOTA and EnvMetaGen projects and, more precisely, within the IBI: InBIO Barcoding Initiative, which consists of the construction of a DNA library focused especially on invertebrates, but which now also includes almost all Portuguese bats.