A new species of bat of the genus Miniopterus is described from Madagascar based on a series of specimens taken in the Central Highlands of the island. This new species previously was identified as M. fraterculus, which is widespread in portions of eastern and southern Africa. Comparisons between these 2 taxa were further complicated because M. fraterculus occurs in portions of its range in sympatry with a morphologically similar species, M. natalensis. Based on specimen material and associated tissue samples from near the type localities of M. natalensis and M. fraterculus, as well as access to some of the critical type specimens, morphological and genetic molecular analyses were used to determine that Malagasy specimens previously assigned to M. fraterculus represent a previously unrecognized species of Miniopterus endemic to the island. Given that the habitat used by Miniopterus sp. nov. is not necessarily associated with native forest, that it has a broad distribution across the Central Highlands, and that it has been found in synanthropic situations, this species is not considered a conservation concern.
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