Roussettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroyı 1810)

Benda, P., Kasso, M., Nicolas, V., Pleurdeau, D., Stoetzel, E., Workalemahu, S., Bekele, A. & Denys, C., 2019, New data on bats from Dire Dawa regionı eastern Ethiopiaı with the first record of Rhinopoma microphyllum in the country, Journal of Natural History 53 (41), pp. 2579-2590 : 2582-2583

publication ID 10.1080/00222933.2019.1705416


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Roussettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroyı 1810)


Roussettus aegyptiacus (Geoffroyı 1810) – Egyptian rousette

Material. 1 ³ ad (DDW26), Dire Dawa, Enkuftu Cave , 09°35 ʹ N, 41°52 ʹ E, 1258 m a GoogleMaps . s. l., captured 24/11/2017. GoogleMaps

One male of the Egyptian rousette was caught at the Enkuftu Cave within the Dire Dawa town. A huge colony of this bat was observed roosting during day time in this cave. This locality, together with Harar from where this bat was reported by Hayman and Hill (1971), constitutes the north-eastern limit of the known species range in sub-Saharan Africa ( Bergmans 1994). The new record also represents the northernmost record of R. aegyptiacus from Ethiopia, since the known distribution of this bat in the country has been confined to the territory south of the 9°20 ʹ N (in the western part of the country, the northernmost locality is the Geda Gilinde Cave at 9°12 ʹ N; Stříbná et al. 2019). The region of Dire Dawa probably also constitutes the northernmost area of the species occurrence in the eastern part of Africa, i.e. nominally assigned to be inhabited by R. a. leachii (Smith, 1829), see Bergmans (1994). The only east-African finding originating from an area more to the north, Addi Sciaddi [= Addisc Addi; 15°40 ʹ N, 38°37 ʹ E] in Eritrea ( Sordelli 1902), was doubted by Bergmans (1994), although it was accepted by Senna (1905), Largen et al. (1974) and Happold (2013a). Without doubt, the Dire Dawa area represents an extreme and outlying distributional occurrence spot of R. aegyptiacus in tropical Africa.

Dimensions of the collected specimen are as follows: weight 110 g, head and body length 140 mm, forearm length 90 mm, ear length 22 mm, largest skull length 42.67 mm, condylobasal length 40.48 mm, zygomatic width 25.97 mm, neurocranium width 17.88 mm, neurocranium height 13.46 mm, length of upper tooth-row 16.03 mm. These data fall into the middle of the ranges of R. a. leachii from eastern Africa (n=72; Bergmans 1994), while some of them exceed the upper limits of the ranges of R. a. arabicus Anderson, 1902 from the southern part of the Middle East (n=58; Benda et al. 2012b). The latter subspecies was suggested to occur in eastern Ethiopia (Harar) by Hayman and Hill (1971) and Largen et al. (1974). However, our record supports the view by Bergmans (1994), who considered the presence of small-sized R. a. arabicus in eastern Ethiopia as improbable and all the populations of this bat from the eastern part of sub-Saharan Africa referred solely to large-sized R. a. leachii.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile