Old World fruit bats (Chiroptera: Yinpterochiroptera: Pteropodidae) are a diverse radiation endemic to the tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia, and nearby island archipelagos. Recent molecular analyses have provided considerable resolution of phylogenetic relationships within this group, but many points of uncertainty have remained including the position of several enigmatic taxa (e.g., Notopteris, Eidolon), relationships among species in more diverse subfamilies and genera (e.g., Pteropodinae, Pteropus, Epomophorus), and topology of the backbone of the tree. Here we provide a new, synthetic analysis including representatives of all 45 currently recognized genera and enhanced sampling in several speciose genera. Our matrix included four nuclear genes regions (vWF, RAG1, RAG2, and BRCA1) and four mitochondrial gene loci (Cytb, tRNA valine, 12S rRNA, and 16S rRNA) for a total of >8000 bp including new sequence data for 13 species. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses resulted in trees supporting recognition of six main suprageneric clades similar in content to those identified in our previous studies. We did not recover strong support for relationships among the main clades along the backbone of the tree, but identified many well-supported clades within all of the major groups. Based on these results, we propose a new classification for Pteropodidae comprising eight subfamilies and 14 tribes, and including several new and/or replacement higher-level taxonomic names for which we provide morphological diagnoses.
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Vol. 2020 • No. 3950