Funnel-eared bat Natalus stramineus, photographed by Barry Mansell.

Belongs within: Chiroptera.

The Natalidae are a family of bats found in tropical and subtropical South and Central America. The genera Chilonatalus and Natalus possess distinctively funnel-shaped ears and elongate legs, though these features are absent in Nyctiellus. Chilonatalus species have ridge-like outgrowths on the muzzle and chin, as well as a large glandular swelling on the forehead of males (Miller 1907).

Characters (from Miller 1907): Humerus with trochiter nearly as large as trochin and projecting noticeably farther beyond head, its surface of articulation with scapula nearly half as large as glenoid fossa and very definitely outlined, epitrochlea well developed, but short and thick, with broad spinous process, capitellum distinctly out of line with shaft; second manal digit with fully developed metacarpal but no phalanges; third finger with two phalanges; shoulder girdle normal in structure, but presternum relatively large and strong, its width equal to length of presternum and mesosternum together, its keel slanting backward ; mesosternum very narrow, its keel much higher than its width posteriorly; xiphisternum scarcely longer than broad, its keel low but distinct; foot normal; fibula thread-like, usually cartilaginous at its upper extremity, which extends to head of tibia; pelvis essentially normal, but ilia unusually expanded laterally and dorsal and ventral profiles of ossa innominata more nearly parallel than in any other bats except the Rhinolophidae and Hipposideridae, sacrum with boundaries of vertebrae nearly or quite effaced, though general form of bone not peculiar; vertebrae from last dorsal to antepenultimate lumbar fused into a solid, laterally compressed mass from which all boundaries of the original elements are obliterated, last two lumbar vertebrae free; skull without postorbital processes; premaxillaries complete, the slender palatal branches fused in median line, leaving two small, lateral foramina and a slight anterior emargination; teeth normal; tragus present, variously distorted and thickened; muzzle without nose leaf in adult, though a structure resembling a rudimentary leaf has been described as occurring in the fetus of Natalus; chin occasionally with ridge-like outgrowths.

Natalidae [Natalinae, Natalini, Natalinia, Nataloidea, Nycticellina]
    |--Honrovits MJ11
    |--Ageina GJ03
    |--Nyctiellus Gervais 1855 [=Nycticellus Gray 1866] M07
    |    `--*N. lepidus [=Vespertilio lepidus] M07
    |--Chilonatalus Miller 1898 C57
    |    |--*C. micropus [=Natalus (*Chilonatalus) micropus] M07
    |    |--C. brevimanus M07
    |    `--C. tumidifrons M07
    `--Natalus Gray 1838 [=Natalis Winge 1892; incl. Phodotes Miller 1906, Spectrellum Gervais 1856] C57
         |--*N. stramineus Gray 1838 C57 (see below for synonymy)
         |--N. lepidus IT07
         |--N. major M07
         |--N. mexicanus Miller 1902 M-M01, MB86
         |    |--N. m. mexicanus M-M01 [=N. stramineus mexicanus MB86]
         |    `--N. m. saturatus M-M01 [=N. stramineus saturatus G69]
         |--N. tumidifrons IT07
         `--N. tumidirostris C57 [=*Phodotes tumidirostris M07]
              |--N. t. tumidirostris C57
              `--N. t. continentis (Thomas 1911) [=Phodotes tumidirostris continentis] C57

*Natalus stramineus Gray 1838 C57 [incl. *Spectrellum macrurum Gervais 1856 M07, C57, Vespertilio splendidus Wagner 1845 C57]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria—Unguiculata—Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[GJ03] Gunnell, G. F., B. F. Jacobs, P. S. Herendeen, J. J. Head, E. Kowalski, C. P. Msuya, F. A. Mizambwa, T. Harrison, J. Habersetzer & G. Storch. 2003. Oldest placental mammal from sub-Saharan Africa: Eocene microbat from Tazania—evidence for early evolution of sophisticated echolocation. Palaeontologica Electronica 5 (3).

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

[MB86] Matson, J. O. & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

[M07] Miller, G. S., Jr. 1907. The families and genera of bats. Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum, Bulletin 57: i–xvii, 1–282, pl. I–XIV.

[M-M01] Morales-Malacara, J. B. 2001. New morphological analysis of the bat wing mites of the genus Periglischrus (Acari: Spinturnicidae). In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 185–195. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

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