Vol. 55, 2016
Ultrastructural Hair Morphology: a Supplemental Tool for Species Recognition in Bats
Mukesh Kumar1, Yuvana S. Priya2, Virendra Mathur3, Harendra Kumar4, and Vadamalai Elangovan5,*
1Department of Applied Animal
Sciences, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow 226 025, Uttar
(Received 21 February 2015; Accepted 4 March 2016)
Mukesh Kumar, Yuvana S. Priya, Virendra Mathur, Harendra Kumar, and Vadamalai Elangovan (2016) The ultrastructural hair morphology of 09 insectivorous bats such as P. coromandra,P. ceylonicus, S. kuhlii, S. heathii, H. fulvus, H. lankadiva, M. lyra, R. micorphyllum and R. hardwickii were examined through scanning electron microscope to validate the use of hair characteristics as supplemental taxonomic tools for species recognition. The results suggest that the hair characteristics such as scale cuticle, divergence from the shaft and degree of hastateness varied among different species of bats. The coronal divergent scale was found in P. coromandra,P. ceylonicus, H. fulvus, and H. lankadiva while coronal divaricate scale was found in R. micorphyllum and R. hardwickii. However, imbricate type of scale was found in S. kuhlii, S. heathii and M. lyra with different degree of hastateness among them. The different types of hastateness found among these insectivorous bats include unequal hastate, equal hastate, alternate, elongate, rounded, simple, denticulate, acuminate and cusped. The hair characteristics such as hair length, scale length, scale width, scale index and width index differed among different species. However, there was no difference in the structure of scales among dorsal, ventral and neck hairs. The ultrastructural diverseness in the hair morphology of different insectivorous species suggests that the structural features of hairs could be used for species recognition.
Key words: Hair cuticle, Guard hairs, Microchiroptera, Scanning electron microscope, Taxonomy.*Correspondence: Tel: +91-522-6573221. Fax: +91-522-2440821. E-mail: email@example.com