Among populations of the Miniopterus bats of western Palaearctic, intraspecific variation has not been well documented. Herein we investigate sexual and age variation of these populations using two approaches — linear and geometric morphometrics. We analysed Moroccan (M. maghrebesnis), western and eastern European (M. schreibersii), Levantine (M. schreibersii), and east-Afghanistani (M. cf. fuliginosus) specimens; variation was compared between sexes of the particular specimen sets of three above mentioned Miniopterus spp. and between four age cohorts of M. schreibersii samples. The results showed in all examined population sets males to be generally larger in size than females, the exception being the east-European animals. Significatly the most divergent sexes were those from eastern Afghanistan, the Levant and eastern Europe. The differences found between sexes in as well as between examined population sets can be attributed to different life histories and/or to food competition. Weak correlations between patterns of sexual dimorphism and the newly proposed western Palaearctic classification of the Miniopterus bats suggest only a limited contribution of sexual variation to morphological variation in general. Certain aspects of age variaton were found in all examined morphological characters except the non-metric traits, which in turn indicates the importance of these traits for identification of the particular taxon across age categories.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.