This is the last part in a series comprising all Megachiroptera known from mainland Africa and its islands. The concept of the genus Lissonycteris Andersen, 1912 is reviewed and adapted. For the first time, its differential characters vis-à-vis the genera Rousettus Gray, 1821, and Myonycteris Matschie, 1899 as described in the literature have been checked against material of all the species involved. As a consequence, a number of these characters are considered of no taxonomic value and have not been retained, while some new differential characters are described. Lissonycteris and Myonycteris are considered different from Rousettus on generic level, while Lissonycteris and Myonycteris are more closely related to one another than each of these to Rousettus. New observations on all African and extralimital species of Rousettus are reported and the retention of Boneia Jentink, 1879 as a subgenus by Corbet et al. (1991, 1992) is rejected. Lissonycteris is considered a monotypic genus, with as single species the polytypic L. angolensis (Bocage, 1898). The subspecies angolensis, smithii (O. Thomas, 1908) and ruwenzorii (Eisentraut, 1965) are recognized, and two new subspecies, petraea and goliath, are described. Myonycteris consists of three species, torquata (Dobson, 1878), brachycephala (Bocage, 1889) and relicta Bergmans, 1980. Their present taxonomy is conform earlier reports (Bergmans, 1976, 1980a). M. torquata is considered a monotypical species. M. relicta is reported from Zimbabwe for the first time, extending its known distribution 1400 km southwards. Following Kirsch et al. (1995) and Springer et al. (1995), the subfamily Macroglossinae is considered a synonym of the subfamily Pteropodinae. The taxonomy and distribution of Megaloglossus woermanni Pagenstecher, 1885 are reviewed. In a final section, general remarks and conclusions are presented on the supraspecific taxonomy of the Megachiroptera and a classification is proposed which includes the raise to subfamily rank of the Rousettinae and Epomophorinae and the recognition of the new tribes Scotonycterini and Plerotini; some recent publications bearing on African species taxonomy are reviewed; and an appraisal is made of the distribution patterns found throughout this series. A vicariance model is proposed to explain the occurrence in Asia and Africa of both Pteropus Brisson, 1762 and Rousettus Gray, 1821. For woodland species, the regions SE Tchad/E Central African Republic/W Sudan; N half of Tanzania; and E Angola/adjoining Zaïre have been identified as having (had) a barrier effect on dispersal. For forest species, important divides appear to be in the regions Volta River/Dahomey Gap; SE Nigeria; C and S Gabon; C Zaïre, from N to S; the Western Rift system; several barriers in E Africa. Finally, an illustrated key to all African Megachiroptera is given, primarily based on externally visible characters and designed for use in the field.


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Naturalis journals & series

Bergmans, W. (1997). Taxonomy and biogeography of African fruit bats (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). 5. The genera Ussonycteris Andersen, 1912, Myonycteris Matschie, 1899 and Megaloglossus Pagenstecher, 1885; general remarks and conclusions; annex: key to all species. Beaufortia, 47(2), 11–90.