Lissonycteris angolensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Lissonycteris angolensis Bocage, 1898
Common Name(s):
English Angolan Fruit Bat, Angolan Rousette
Lissonycteris goliath Bergmans, 1997
Lissonycteris petraea Bergmans, 1997
Lissonycteris ruwenzorii Eisentraut, 1965
Lissonycteris smithii Thomas, 1908
Rousettus angolensis (Bocage, 1898)
Taxonomic Notes:

We follow Happold and Happold (2013) by including Myonycteris goliath, M. petraea, M. ruwenzorii and M. smithii within M. angolensis. However, it is highly likely that M. angolensis represents a species complex (Simmons 2005, Cotterill, 2001, Monadjem et al., 2010a,b) but a complete review of this taxon has yet to be conducted. A recent study showed that the Cytochrome_b sequences of West African M. angolensis smithii differed by only 1.4-2.1% from that of M. angolensis ruwenzorii in the central Congo basin, suggesting that these two taxa are not specifically distinct. The subspecies goliath was first described by Bergmans (1997) and elevated to species status by Cotterill (2001), based mostly on its larger size and its perceived allopatric distribution. Monadjem et al. (2010a) listed goliath as a valid species, but drew attention to the fact that it was also present in northern Mozambique (Monadjem et al., 2010b) and may therefore possibly be continuous with populations of ruwenzorii in southern Tanzania. The status of goliath needs to be re-evaluated with a molecular approach. The distribution of Myoonycteris angolensis petraea appears to be geniunely allopatric and this taxon may well prove to be a distinct species. The status of the L. angolensis angolensis remains uncertain.

The angolensis species complex was previously listed under the genus Lissonycteris. However, a recent molecular review of the tribe Myonycterini clearly shows Lissonycteris embedded within the genus Myonycteris, and due to the rules of priority Lissonycteris becomes a synonym of Myonycteris.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-08-31
Assessor(s): Bergmans, W., Hutson, A.M., Mickleburgh, S. & Monadjem, A.
Reviewer(s): Piraccini, R.

Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is widely distributed at elevations ranging from sea level to 4,000 m Asl, in West Africa, Central Africa and East Africa, with some distinct populations present within southern Africa. It ranges from Senegal and The Gambia in the west, through most of West Africa to Cameroon; from here it ranges southwards into Congo, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, and eastwards into Central African Republic, southern Sudan, eastern and southern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda and Burundi. In East Africa it is distributed from Ethiopia in the north through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. In southern Africa the species is present in northern Zambia, eastern Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The nominate subspecies Myonycteris angolensis angolensis has been recorded from northwestern Angola, central and southern Cameroon, Central African Republic, central Congo, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Mbini), Gabon, eastern Nigeria, and northwestern and southwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo; the subspecies M. a. goliath is known from the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe, and central and northern Mozambique (Cotterill 2001, Monadjem et al. 2010a,b), between sea level and 1,800 m Asl; L. a. petraea is found only in Ethiopia, where it has been recorded from six localities between 1,190 and 2,600 m Asl; L. a. ruwenzorii has been recorded from Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, northeastern and southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe; L. a. smithi is distributed in the lowlands of western Africa, where its distribution follows the savanna and forest zone, it is found up to 1,500 m Asl on Mount Nimba (Denys et al. 2013).

Countries occurrence:
Angola; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mozambique; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Where present, this species is generally relatively abundant (in terms of numbers of captures), but it is not uniformly distributed throughout its range. Its patchy distribution may be related to its specific roosting requirements which are probably themselves patchily distributed. The subspecies Myonycteris angolensis petraea, is known from only a few specimens and its population ecology is currently unknown.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Populations of this species have been recorded from a diverse range of habitats, including montane tropical forest, lowland tropical moist forest, Zambezian miombo woodland, Sudanian woodland, moist savanna and mosaics of these habitats with grassland. Groups of this species, generally consisting of six to eight animals, can be most often found roosting at cave entrances, old mine adits, hollow trees and amongst dense vegetation (including under palm leaves). Members of the subspecies Myonycteris angolensis goliath have been recorded from lowland moist woodland, mid-altitude and afromontane forest, and is probably associated with caves as roost sites; L. a. petraea is present in evergreen and semi -evergreen bush land, and afromontane vegetation, it too may be associated with caves; L. a. ruwenzorii has been recorded from forest clearings and orchards and may roost in hollow trees (Monadjem, personal observation); L. a. smithi is found in savanna and forest, and is considered fairly adaptable to habitat modification and may occur at higher altitudes up to 1200 m above sea level in Liberia (Monadjem, 2011) and 1500 m above sea level in Guinea (Denys et al., 2013), where it has used old mine adits for roosting at both these sites.

Generation Length (years):4.26

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There appear to be no major threats to this species as a whole. Some subspecies, such as Lissonycteris angolensis goliath may be threatened by loss of habitat resulting from logging operations, and disturbance of cave roosting sites. It is possible that some populations of this species are threatened by over harvesting for subsistence food (Edme Ekpe, pers. comm.)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is present in a number of protected areas across Africa, but the status of individual subspecies is not clear, particularly Myonycteris angolensis petraea. This species appears tolerant of some deforestation and in fact is rarely captured deep within primary forest. In fact, this species appears to thrive outside of protected areas. Hence, the impact of deforestation may not be particularly critical for the survival of this species. 

Citation: Bergmans, W., Hutson, A.M., Mickleburgh, S. & Monadjem, A. 2017. Lissonycteris angolensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T44698A22073874. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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