MolossoideaNancy B. Simmons and Tenley Conway
- Molossidae (Free-tailed Bats)
Molossoidea includes two families, Molossidae (12 genera and 80 species) and Antrozoidae (2 genera and 2 species). All molossoids are insectivores, and most (i.e., all molossids) are fast-flying ariel insectivorous. Antrozoids glean most of their prey from surfaces and may have a more generalized diet.
All Molossoidea share the following features:
- one upper incisor on each side of jaw.
- body of basihyal u-shaped.
- ribs with no anterior laminae.
- posterior laminae on ribs narrow, lamina width less than that of main body of rib.
- ventral process present, distal tip blunt or rounded.
- xiphisternum without keel.
Until recently, Antrozoidea was placed in Vesperilionidae as either a seperate subfamily (e.g. Miller, 1897), a member of "Nyctophilinae" (e.g. Hill and Smith, 1984), or as a tribe within Vespertilioninae (e.g. Koopman, 1993, 1994). However, Simmons (1998) and Simmon and Geisler (1998) demonstrated that antrozoids are more closely related to molossids than to other vespertilionids. Simmon (1998) raised the group to family level as Antrozoidae and placed it in Molossoidea to reflect this relationship.
Hill, J.E., and J.D. Smith. 1984. Bats: a natural history. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Simmons, N. B. 1998. A reappraisal of interfamilial relationships of bats. In Bats: Phylogeny, Morphology, Echolocation and Conservation Biology. T.H. Kunz and P.A. Racey (eds.). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Simmons, N. B. & J. H. Geisler. 1998. Phylogenetic relationships of Icaronycteris, Archeonycteris, Hassianycteris, and Palaeochiropteryx to extant bat lineages, with comments on the evolution of echolocation and foraging strategies in microchiroptera. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 235:1-82.
Nancy B. Simmons
American Musuem of Natural History, New York, New York, USA
University of Toronto at Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Nancy B. Simmons at
Page copyright © 1997 Nancy B. Simmons
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Citing this page:
Simmons, Nancy B. and Tenley Conway. 1997. Molossoidea. Version 01 January 1997 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Molossoidea/16097/1997.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/