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December 2007

Release Date: December 6, 2007

ASU Graduate Student to Name New Bat Species

Molly McDonough, a biology graduate student at Angelo State University, is set to become the first ASU student to have a hand in the naming of a new species.

McDonough’s research on Eumops glaucinus bats, found mainly in Central and South America, led to the discovery of a previously unidentified species of bat inhabiting western Ecuador that visually resembles Eumops glaucinus. Her research included a trip to Ecuador to obtain samples of the new species, molecular study in the ASU lab and collaboration with faculty and students at Texas Tech University.

“In our lab here I looked at a gene and determined that there was enough variation, or differences, in that gene in the western Ecuador bats from those found in other populations, that it is a unique species,” McDonough said.

Further lab testing at Texas Tech confirmed McDonough’s findings, which will be submitted to “Occasional Papers of Texas Tech Museum” for review and publication. Once the research is published, the new species will be considered for the official registry “Mammal Species of the World” distributed by the Johns Hopkins Press.

Official credit for the discovery will go to McDonough, ASU biology professor Dr. Loren Ammerman and Dr. Robert Baker, Vicki Swier and Juan Pablo Carrera of Texas Tech. The name of the new species cannot be revealed until it is published, which Ammerman predicts will take about three to five months.

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