Bare-backed fruit bat Dobsonia moluccensis magna, photographed by Bruce Thomson.

Belongs within: Pteropodidae.

Dobsonia includes the naked-backed fruit bats, a group of bats found from Sulawesi to the Solomon Islands, characterised by the attachment of the wing membranes along the midline of the back.

Characters (from Miller 1907): Dental formula i1/1, c1/1, p2/3, m2/3. Upper incisors short, but well developed, in contact or nearly so, the crowns about as wide as long and with distinct cutting edge. Lower incisors almost structureless spicules with barely indicated blunt crowns. Canines rather short, not peculiar in form, without secondary cusps, those of the lower jaw nearly in contact. No small upper premolar (pm2). The corresponding tooth in the lower jaw relatively larger than in Pteropus, not separated from canine or from first large premolar by any appreciable space. Other premolars both above and below differing from those of Pteropus in greater development of cusps and in more trenchant ridges. Small posterior molars (m2 and m3) as in Pteropus. Anterior molars (m1 and m1, m2) resembling the large premolars in their general characteristics as compared with the corresponding teeth in Pteropus, the
crown of each with a distinct median longitudinal ridge at middle of furrow. This ridge is continuous nearly from end to end of m2, in m1 and m1 it is confined to the region behind the cusps, and in some specimens is obsolete in the first lower molar. Skull much shorter and more heavily built than that of Pteropus but of essentially the same type. Distance from orbit to nares about equal to lachrymal width. Posterior portion of brain case slightly tubular, and occipital region so deflected that alveolar line projected backward passes just below root of zygoma. Premaxillaries very narrow, the width scarcely more than that of crown of incisor. The inner extremities barely come in contact. Audital bullae somewhat wider than in Pteropus but less developed than in Cynopterus. External characters unlike those of Pteropus in the absence of the claw of index finger, the presence of a distinct tail, and the attachment of the wing membranes along middle of back.

<==Dobsonia Palmer 1898R64 [=Hypoderma Geoffroy 1828 nec DC. 1805 (ICBN) nec Latreille 1818R64, Hypodermis (l. c.)M07; Dobsoniina]
    |  i. s.: D. magna Thomas 1905APB99 [=D. moluccensis magnaR64]
    |         D. palliataM07
    |         D. remota Cabrera 1920M72
    |--*D. peroni (Geoffroy 1810)R64, FS15, R64 [=Cephalotes peroniR64, *Hypoderma peroniR64]
    |--D. emersaFS15
    |--D. minor (Dobson 1879)FS15, APB99
    |--D. pannietensisFS15
    |--+--D. chapmaniFS15
    |  `--D. exoleta Andersen 1909FS15, K92
    |--+--D. anderseniFS15
    |  `--D. moluccensis (Quoy & Gaimard 1830)FS15, K92
    `--+--D. beaufortiFS15
       |--D. inermis Andersen 1909FS15, K92
       |    |--D. i. inermisM72
       |    `--D. i. neseaM72
       |--D. praedatrixFS15
       `--+--D. crenulataFS15
          `--D. viridisFS15

*Type species of generic name indicated


[APB99] Aplin, K. P., J. M. Pasveer & W. E. Boles. 1999. Late Quaternary vertebrates from the Bird’s Head Peninsula, Irian Jaya, Indonesia, including descriptions of two previously unknown marsupial species. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 57: 351–387.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[K92] Klompen, J. S. H. 1992. Phylogenetic relationships in the mite family Sarcoptidae (Acari: Astigmata). Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 180: i–vi, 1–154.

[M72] McKean, J. L. 1972. Notes on some collections of bats (order Chiroptera) from Papua-New Guinea and Bougainville Island. CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research Technical Paper 26: 1–35.

[M07] Miller, G. S., Jr. 1907. The families and genera of bats. Smithsonian Institution, United States National Museum, Bulletin 57: i–xvii, 1–282, pls 1–14.

[R64] Ride, W. D. L. 1964. A list of mammals described from Australia between the years 1933 and 1963 (comprising newly proposed names and additions to the Australian faunal list). Australian Mammal Society Bulletin 7 (Suppl.): 1–15.

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