The intermediate leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros larvatus) is a medium-sized bat distributed throughout the Indo-Malay region. In north-east India, bats identified as H. larvatus captured at a single cave emitted echolocation calls with a bimodal distribution of peak frequencies, around either 85 kHz or 98 kHz. Individuals echolocating at 85 kHz had larger ears and longer forearms than those echolocating at 98 kHz, although no differences were detected in either wing morphology or diet, suggesting limited resource partitioning. A comparison of mitochondrial control region haplotypes of the two phonic types with individuals sampled from across the Indo-Malay range supports the hypothesis that, in India, two cryptic species are present. The Indian 98-kHz phonic bats formed a monophyletic clade with bats from all other regional populations sampled, to the exclusion of the Indian 85-kHz bats. In India, the two forms showed 12-13% sequence divergence and we propose that the name Hipposideros khasiana for bats of the 85-kHz phonic type. Bats of the 98-kHz phonic type formed a monophyletic group with bats from Myanmar, and corresponded to Hipposideros grandis, which is suggested to be a species distinct from Hipposideros larvatus. Differences in echolocation call frequency among populations did not reflect phylogenetic relationships, indicating that call frequency is a poor indicator of evolutionary history. Instead, divergence in call frequency probably occurs in allopatry, possibly augmented by character displacement on secondary contact to facilitate intraspecific communication.
- Resource partitioning