Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Department or Program
Bruce D. Patterson, Field Museum of Natural History
Many of Kenya’s vesper bat species (Vespertilionidae) are weakly distinguished from one another, resulting in uncertainty with field and museum identification. These complexities set up Scotophilus as a case study for practical application of the Biological, Morphological, and Phylogenetic Species Concepts. Clear understanding of geographic variation is needed to apply currently available species names and, where needed, to propose new names. I analyzed variation in cranial morphology using geometric morphometric analysis and quantified pelage color variation in the African Yellow house bat genus Scotophilus to examine species limits and morphological overlap among populations. These analyses identify diagnostic characters and range boundaries for these species and clarify the application of existing names to Kenyan bats. The geometric morphometric and pelage analyses conducted here are a first step in untangling Scotophilus taxonomy, although more studies are needed to classify taxa sufficiently and accurately.
Schweiger, Brittany R., "Elucidating the Species Limits and Range Boundaries of the African Yellow House Bats, Genus Scotophilus" (2017). Senior Theses.