Myotis ater 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Vespertilionidae

Scientific Name: Myotis ater (Peters, 1866)
Common Name(s):
English Peters's Myotis, Small Black Myotis
Myotis atra (Peters, 1866) [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Wiles, G.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Racey, P.A., Medellín, R. & Hutson, A.M. (Chiroptera Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern in because of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, tolerance to a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Myotis ater is known from a number of locations over a wide range from Southeast Asia to the Moluccas. The species, however, is difficult to identify externally, and some former records are no longer valid, while others need to be checked. Limits of the species’ distribution would greatly benefit from genetic work and the development of echolocation keys for Myotis in the region.

M. ater is easily confused with M. muricola, and has at times been considered to be part of it (Koopman and Gordon 1992; Koopman 1993), but is treated here as distinct following Simmons (2005). Francis and Hill (1998) reviewed specimens from Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia and determined that the two likely occur sympatrically in Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, and Sulawesi. However, they did not make direct comparisons with material from Sulawesi, and they expressed some reservations about the identity of M. ater in Peninsular Malaysia (Francis and Hill 1998).

The only confirmed site for Borneo appears to be Mount Kinabalu and records elsewhere reported in Hill and Francis (1984) and Payne et al. (1985) are either M. muricola or M. gomantongensis (Francis and Hill 1998). For this reason we conservatively map only this site on the island despite the fact that the species might actually be common throughout the island like M. muricola (Francis and Hill 1998), and because M. ater has not been recorded in recent surveys (Struebig et al. 2006; Suyanto and Struebig 2007). We map the species on Sulawesi, and elsewhere in the Wallacea (e.g., Ambon, Halmahera, Buru, and Seram) (Corbet and Hill 1992; Flannery 1995). Reports of the species inhabiting Papua New Guinea and Australia represent either M. moluccarum or M. adversus (Cooper et al. 2001).

The species is often said to occur in Sumatra, but there is no reliable information for it on this island. We map M. ater in Siberut off Sumatra, following Corbet and Hill (1992) pending further investigation.

Specimens previously reported to M. muricola from Culion Island, near Palawan and Camarines, Luzon, Philippines are M. ater. Another bat collected in Bukidnon, Mindanao, Philippines might also represent M. ater (Heaney et al. 2005).

Subsequent records from Peninsular Malaysia confirm its presence (Kingston et al. 2003). There are no records of M. ater from Singapore (Pottie et al. 2005; Lane et al. 2006), but it is thought to have historically occurred here, based on its distribution in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia (Lane et al. 2006).

The northernmost records of the species are from Viet Nam (Bates et al. 1999; Hendrichsen et al. 2001). A series of surveys of protected areas from 1997-2000 found M. ater in four of six of areas; the two where it was not found were the two sites that were surveyed most quickly (i.e., Huu Lien N.R. and Kon Cha Rang N.R.; Hendrichsen et al. 2001).

The only genetic study of M. ater in relation to other members of its genus used material from Huai Kha Khang Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand (Bickham et al. 1986). More work is needed to determine the extent of its occurrence in that country (for an overview of bat species distribution in Thailand see, Bumrungsri et al. 2006). Oddly, there have been several subsequent genetic studies of Myotis in the region, but none include M. ater (e.g., Ruedi and Mayer 2001; Bickham et al. 2004).

With the species occurring in Viet Nam and Thailand it would not be surprising if it also was found in intervening Lao PDR. Although the species has not been recorded from here, Francis et al. (1999) report one specimen that could be M. ater.
Countries occurrence:
Indonesia (Kalimantan, Maluku, Sulawesi, Sumatera); Malaysia; Philippines; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The abundance, population size, and trends for this species are not known. The species is likely to be common in Viet Nam, but further investigation is needed (Bates et al. 1999).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Flannery (1995) reports that he observed the species appearing to emerge from village houses, and foraging along flyways within the village on the island of Sanana, Indonesia. It has been captured near fast flowing streams, agricultural areas, and secondary forest in Viet Nam (Bates et al. 1999; Hendrichsen et al. 2001). The species is insectivorous.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not known. The fact that the species has been recorded in secondary forest, agricultural land, and near villages make it likely that the species is tolerant of human disturbance.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is present in a number of protected areas throughout its range. Further studies are needed into the distribution, abundance, natural history, and possible threats to this species.

Classifications [top]

14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Bates, P. J. J., Hendrichsen, D. K., Walston, J. L. and Hayes, B. D. 1999. A review of the Mouse-eared bats (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae: Myotis) from Vietnam with significant new records. Acta Chiropterologica 1: 47-74.

Bickham, J. W., McBee, K. and Schlitter, D. A. 1986. Chromosomal variation among seven species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy 67(4): 746-750.

Bickham, J. W., Patton, J. C., Schlitter, D. A., Rautenbach, I. L. and Honeycutt, R. L. 2004. Molecular phylogenetics, karyotypic diversity, and partition of the genus Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33: 333-338.

Bumrungsri, S., Harrison, D. L., Satasook, C., Prajukjitr, A., Thong-Aree, S. and Bates, P. J. J. 2006. A review of bat research in Thailand with eight new species records for the country. Acta Chiropterologica 8(2): 325-359.

Cooper, S. J. B., Day, P. R., Reardon, T. B. and Schulz, M. 2001. Assessment of species boundaries in Australian Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) using mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Mammalogy 82: 328-338.

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Flannery, T.F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Comstock/Cornell, Ithaca, Ny, USA.

Francis, C. M. and Hill, J. E. 1998. New records and a new species of Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) from Malaysia. Mammalia 62(2): 241-252.

Francis, C. M., Guillen, A. and Robinson, M. F. 1999. Order Chiroptera: bats. In: J. W. Duckworth, R. E. Salter and K. Khounboline (eds), Wildlife in Lao PDR: 1999 Status Report, pp. 225-235. IUCN, Vientiane.

Heaney, L. R., Balete, D. S., Dolar, M. L., Alcala, A. C., Dans, A. T. L., Gonzales, P. C., Ingle, N. R., Lepiten, M. V., Oliver, W. L. R., Ong, P. S., Rickart, E. A., Tabaranza Jr., B. R. and Utzurrum, R. C. B. 2005. Comment added to the online account of Myotis muricola from: A synopsis of the mammalian fauna of the Philippine Islands. Originally published in 1998: Fieldiana Zoology new series, 88:1-61, and placed online in 2002 at Fieldiana: Zoology 88: 1-61.

Hendrichsen, D. K., Bates, P. J. J., Hayes, B. D. and Walston, J. L. 2001. Recent records of bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Vietnam with six species new to the country. Myotis 39: 35-122.

Hill, J.E. and Francis, C.M. 1984. New bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) and new records of bats from Borneo and Malaya. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Zoology Series 47: 303-329.

IUCN. 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Kingston, T., Francis, C. M., Akbar, Z. and Kunz, T. H. 2003. Species richness in an insectivorous bat assemblage from Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 19: 67-79.

Koopman, K.F. 1993. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, pp. 137–241. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C., USA.

Koopman, K. F. and Gordon, L. K. 1992. Systematic notes on a collection of bats from Halmahera (Indonesia: Moluccas). American Museum Novitates 3035: 8.

Lane, D. J. W., Kingston, T. and Lee, B. P. Y.-H. 2006. Dramatic decline in bat species richness in Singapore, with implications for Southeast Asia. Biological Conservation 131: 584-593.

Payne, J., Francis, C.M. and Phillipps, K. 1985. A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society and WWF Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pottie, S. A., Lane, D. J. W., Kingston, T. and Lee, B. P. Y.-H. 2005. The microchiropteran bat fauna of Singapore. Acta Chiropterologica 7(2): 237-247.

Ruedi, M. and Mayer, F. 2001. Molecular Systematics of Bats of the Genus Myotis (Vespertilionidae) Suggests Deterministic Ecomorphological Convergences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 21(3): 436-448.

Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 312-529. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Struebig, M. J., Galdikas, B. M. F. and Suatma. 2006. Bat diversity in oligotrophic forests of southern Borneo. Oryx 40: 447-455.

Suyanto, A. and Struebig, M. J. 2007. Bats of the Sangkulirang limestone karst formations, East Kalimantan — a priority region for Bornean bat conservation. Acta Chiropterologica 9(1): 67-95.

Citation: Wiles, G. 2008. Myotis ater. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T14144A4408913. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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