Table of Contents


Two new genera and three new species in the family Emballonuridae occur in four Oligocene and early Miocene vertebrate faunas in peninsular Florida. Two undescribed species, one large and one small, representing a new genus are present in the Whitneyan I-75 LF and the early Arikareean Brooksville 2 LF. The large species also occurs in the early Arikareean Buda LF. The large emballonurid is the most common bat in both I-75 and Brooksville 2. A second new genus and species is represented by six fossils from the early Hemingfordian Thomas Farm LF. Thomas Farm is the youngest record of the Emballonuridae from temperate North America. Fossils from these four Florida sites are the first Tertiary records of the Emballonuridae in North America, establishing the presence of this family in Florida between ~18 and 30 Ma in what is now temperate North America. Florida Oligocene and early Miocene emballonurid fossils are found only in paleokarst deposits, providing strong evidence that these early North American emballonurids were cave dwellers. Living emballonurids occupy a wide variety of roosts, including hollow trees, under tree bark, and on the trunks of trees, as well as in caves and rock crevices.

The oldest known emballonurid is the recently described Tachypteron franzeni from the middle Eocene of Messel, Germany (Storch et al. 2002). Eppsinycteris from the early Eocene of England was originally described as an emballonurid (Hooker 1996); however, according to Storch et al. (2002), Eppsinycteris is not an emballonurid and may not even be a bat. In addition to the Florida records, the only other Tertiary emballonurid in the New World consists of several teeth of the extant genus Diclidurus from the middle Miocene La Venta Fauna of Colombia in northern South America (Czaplewski 1997). The Florida fossils occur in what is now the Nearctic Region, whereas emballonurids are not presently found farther north than southern Mexico, and are unknown from the West Indies (excluding Trinidad and Tobago). The Emballonuridae are a pantropical family, with eight genera presently inhabiting the tropical rain forests of the Neotropical Region in Middle and South America and five other genera found in the Paleotropical Region in Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The Emballonuridae were widely distributed in the Miocene, although the family later disappeared from both temperate North America and Europe.