Get access

Systematics of the Hipposideros turpis complex and a description of a new subspecies from Vietnam



  • 1Hipposideros turpis is traditionally known as a species composed of three subspecies, H. t. turpis, H. t. alongensis and H. t. pendleburyi, distributed disjunctly in south-west Japan, north-east Vietnam and south-west Thailand, respectively. Prior to the present study, the systematic status of forms within the species remained unclear.
  • 2Using morphological (external, bacular, cranial and dental characters), genetic and echolocation data, we demonstrate that turpis, alongensis and pendleburyi represent three distinct species, and that these species are endemic to Japan, Vietnam and Thailand, respectively. They are very distinct genetically and do not even form a monophyletic group.
  • 3We also prove that H. alongensis is composed of two subspecies, H. a. alongensis and H. a. sungi. The latter subspecies is described as new to science. To date, H. a. alongensis appears to be restricted to the Cat Ba Island of Cat Ba National Park, west Ha Long Bay, whereas H. a. sungi ssp. nov. is known from three localities in mainland northeast Vietnam. These two subspecies are distinguished by body size, molecular data and the frequency of the constant-frequency component of their echolocation signals.