Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Bolivian golden bat revealed as 'new species'

4 August 2014 Last updated at 02:30

By Michelle Warwicker
BBC Nature

A golden bat from Bolivia has been described as a new species by scientists.

Myotis midastactus had previously been classified as another bat found in South America called Myotis simus.

But examination of a collection of museum specimens suggested the existence of a different species, thought to live only in Bolivia.

Its most distinctive characteristic is its golden-yellow, very short and woolly fur.

This bright colouration - which is unique among New World Myotisspecies - earned the bat its new name midastactus, after the Greek legend of King Midas and his golden touch.

There are over 100 species of Myotis - or mouse-eared bats - in the world.

In the wild, Myotis midastactus lives in the Bolivian savanna. It eats small insects and roosts during the day in holes in the ground, hollow trees and under thatched roofs.

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