Publication details

Rousettus aegyptiacus (Pteropodidae) in the Palaearctic: list of records and revision of the distribution range



Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Vespertilio
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Zoology
Keywords Rousettus aegytiacus Palearctics distribution vicariance patterns
Description The population of Rousettus aegyptiacus inhabiting the E-Mediterranean and Middle East, the only offshoot of the family Pteropodidae beyond tropes, represents an enigmatic phenomenon of the W-Palearctic biogeography. In frame of its study we revised distribution status of the species in different parts of its Palearctic range, reexamined the literary data and supplemented them with an extensive set of original distribution records obtained in the field during last two decades. Based on them we compiled a complete list of the records of Rousettus aegyptiacus in the Palearctic region (reporting the species from 358 localities of 14 countries) covering the range delineated by 12–38 N and 26–68 E. Three distribution patterns were recognized: (1) continuous linear distribution along Nile river in Egypt (and N-Sudan), including its extensions in Fayum oasis and Nile delta, (2) locally continuous range in the thermomediteranean zone in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Oman, (3) clearly discontinuous distribution in sub-tropical deserts of the Saharo-Sindian zone (Egypt, N Sudan, Arabian Peninsula, southern Iran and Pakistan), characterised by more or less isolated patches of distribution in desert oases and smaller areas of relative humid habitats (southern part of Nile valley, western slopes of the Hijaz and Sarawat ranges of SW Arabia, Hajjar Mts. of NE Oman, southern slopes of the Zagros Range in Iran and of the Mekran range in Pakistan). Detailed data from Dakhla oasis in Egypt illustrate a flexibility in roosting and foraging demands of the species and its considerable capacity for long-term survival in small (2000-3000 ind.) and rather isolated populations.
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