Zoologists from Osmania University have discovered a new type of bat called Miniopetrussrinii, or Srini’s Bent-winged bat in Makuta, Kodagu district, Karnataka. Dr. Bhargavi Srinivasulu and her son Aditya Srinivasulu from OU found the bat in a cave in the Western Ghats jungle. The team initially thought it was a variant of the Small Bent-winged bat, but further analysis revealed that it was a new species of bent-winged bat. This discovery brings the total number of bent-winged bat species in India to five.
Bent-winged bats are small and usually live in large colonies in caves. They can be found in many regions worldwide, including southern Europe, Africa, Madagascar, Asia, Australia, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. In India, four species of bent-winged bats were known before the discovery of this new species.
Dr. Bhargavi Srinivasulu, a zoologist from OU, explained that their research on Andaman bats showed genetic differences between island populations and mainland Indian populations. They suspected that the Makuta specimens and those found in other parts of the Western Ghats could be cryptic species. To confirm their suspicions, they conducted a comprehensive study involving morphological, cranial, echolocation, and genetic analyses.
The new species of bat has been named after Prof. C Srinivasulu, a bat biologist working at OU. The discovery has been published in the scientific journal Zootaxa.