A review of the bacular morphology of some Indian bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera)

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Bhargavi Srinivasulu
Harpreet Kaur
Tariq Ahmed Shah
Gundena Devender
Gopi Asad
Sreehari Raman
Chelmala Srinivasulu


Bacular studies play a significant role in the case of bats and other mammals since it is considered an important taxon-specific character, thus helping in species discrimination. Structure of the baculum (os penis) also aids in examining and understanding cryptic diversity in bats. The baculum has been used in taxonomic studies of bats but such studies for Indian bats are few and far between. It was felt necessary to put together a comprehensive document depicting the bacular morphology of bats in India so as to be helpful for future bat studies. The penises of the bats were excised, treated with KOH, and then dyed with alizarin red to extract the bacula. The extracted bacula were measured using an oculometer, photographed, and preserved in glycerol. Of the total of 47 species of bats (belonging to nine families) collected and studied during the past decade, we present the bacular morphology of 44 species from peninsular India, Andaman Islands, and Jammu and Kashmir. Bacular morphology of eight taxa, namely, Eonycteris spelaea, Rhinolophus pusillus, R. lepidus monticola, R. cognatus, Hipposideros cf. grandis, Myotis peytoni, M. horsfieldii dryas, and M. longipes are presented here for the first time from India.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Bhargavi Srinivasulu, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

UGC-Post Doctoral Fellow (W)

Harpreet Kaur, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

Post Doctoral Fellow

Tariq Ahmed Shah, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

Senior Research Fellow

Gundena Devender, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

Research Scholar

Gopi Asad, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

Project Assistant

Sreehari Raman, Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan Province, 666303, PR China.

Research Fellow

Chelmala Srinivasulu, Natural History Museum and Wildlife Biology & Taxonomy Lab, Department of Zoology, University College of Science, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Telangana State 500007, India.

Assistant Professor

Department of Zoology


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