Phylogenetic reconstructions based on molecular data have shown recurrent morphological convergence during evolution of the species-rich genus Myotis. Species or groups of species with similar feeding strategies have evolved independently several times to produce remarkable similarities in external morphology. In this context, we investigated the contentious phylogenetic position of 1 of the 2 piscivorous bat species, Myotis vivesi, which was not included in previous molecular studies. This bat, endemic to the coasts and islands of the Gulf of California, Mexico, was long classified in its own genus, Pizonyx, because of its distinctive morphology. To reconstruct its phylogenetic origins relative to other Myotis, we sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene of 2 M. vivesi and related vespertilionids. These outgroups included Pipistrellus subflavus, a member of the subgenus Perimyotis, sometimes classified within the genus Myotis. Unexpectedly, all reconstructions placed M. vivesi within a strongly supported clade including all other typical neotropical and Nearctic Myotis. This molecular phylogeny supports an endemic radiation of New World Myotis. Other Myotis species with similar adaptations to gaffing prey from the water surface present no close phylogenetic relationships with M. vivesi, indicating that such adaptations are convergences. On the other hand, P. subflavus is genetically as distant from the genus Myotis as from other Pipistrellus species, suggesting that generic rank to Perimyotis is warranted.
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