Free-tailed bat Tadarida teniotis, photographed by Ahmet Karatash.

Belongs within: Chiroptera.
Contains: Chaerophon, Mormopterus, Tadarida, Molossus, Eumops.

The Molossidae are the free-tailed or mastiff bats, a pantropical and subtropical family. Molossids are fast-flying bats that mostly hunt flying insects above the forest canopy or over water (Long et al. 2002). As recognised here, the molossids include the blunt-eared bat Tomopeas ravus, a native of Peru that has sometimes been classified separately. The Brazilian free-tailed bat Tadarida brasiliensis has been described as one of the most numerous mammal species in the Western Hemisphere, with some colonies containing millions of individuals.

Characters (from Long et al. 2002): Lips and snout heavy, eyes small. Dental formula I2/1-3, 1-2 or 1, C1/1, P2 and/or 4/2, 4, M1-3/1-3. Tail long, projecting beyond uropatagium.

<==Molossidae [Molossi, Molossina, Molossini]
    |--+--Tomopeas Miller 1900FS15, C57 [Tomopeatinae]
    |  |    `--*T. ravus Miller 1900C57
    |  `--+--MormopterusFS15
    |     `--Platymops Thomas 1906FS15, M07
    |          |--*P. macmillaniM07
    |          `--P. setigerFS15 [=Mormopterus setigerHM99, Tadarida setigerSBS86]
       |  |    |--+--O. madagascariensisFS15
       |  |    |  `--O. martiensseniFS15
       |  |    `--+--+--O. formosusFS15
       |  |       |  `--O. johnstoneiFS15
       |  |       `--+--O. papuensisFS15
       |  |          `--+--O. secundusFS15
       |  |             `--O. wroughtoniFS15
       |  `--+--TadaridaFS15
       |     `--+--Sauromys petrophilusFS15
       |        `--+--Nyctinomops Miller 1902FS15, M07
       |           |    |--N. macrotis (Gray 1839)FS15, MB86 [=Nyctinomus macrotisC57, Tadarida macrotisMB86]
       |           |    `--+--N. aurispinosus (Peale 1848)FS15, MB86 (see below for synonymy)
       |           |       `--+--*N. femorosaccus (Merriam 1889)M07, FS15, MB86 (see below for synonymy)
       |           |          `--N. laticaudatus (Geoffroy 1805)FS15, K92 (see below for synonymy)
       |           `--+--+--MolossusFS15
       |              |  `--EumopsFS15
       |              `--Promops Gervais 1855FS15, C57
       |                   |--P. nasutus (Spix 1823) [=Molossus nasutus]C57
       |                   |    |--P. n. nasutus (see below for synonymy)C57
       |                   |    `--P. n. ancilla Thomas 1915C57
       |                   |--P. centralisG69
       |                   |--P. davisoni Thomas 1921C57
       |                   |--P. occultus Thomas 1915C57
       |                   `--P. pamana Miller 1913C57
       `--+--+--Cheiromeles Horsfield 1824FS15, M07 [=Chiromeles Agassiz 1846M07; incl. Chiropetes Gloger 1841M07]
          |  |    |--*C. torquatus Horsfield 1824M07, K92
          |  |    `--C. parvidens Miller & Hollister 1921K92
          |  `--Myopterus Geoffroy 1813FS15, M07 [incl. Eomops Thomas 1905M07]
          |       |--M. albatusHM98
          |       |--M. daubentoniiM07
          |       `--M. whitleyiIT07 [=Mormopterus whitleyiM07, *Eomops whitleyiM07]
          `--+--Molossops Peters 1865FS15, M07 [incl. Myopterus Peters 1869 non Geoffroy 1813M07]
             |    |  i. s.: M. abrasusIT07
             |    |--+--*M. temminckii (Burmeister 1854)C57, FS15, C57 (see below for synonymy)
             |    |  |    |--M. t. temminckii [incl. M. hirtipes Winge 1892]C57
             |    |  |    |--M. t. griseiventer Sanborn 1941C57
             |    |  |    `--M. t. sylvia Thomas 1924C57
             |    |  `--M. neglectusFS15
             |    `--+--M. aequatorianus Cabrera 1917FS15, C57
             |       `--M. mattogrossensis Vieira 1942FS15, C57 [=M. temminckii mattogrossensisC57]
             `--Cynomops Thomas 1920FS15, C57
                  |  i. s.: C. brachymeles (Peters 1865)HM98, C57 [=Molossus (Molossops) brachymelesC57]
                  |           |--C. b. brachymelesC57
                  |           |--*C. b. cerastes (Thomas 1901) [=Molossus cerastes, Molossops brachymeles cerastes]C57
                  |           `--C. b. mastivus (Thomas 1911) [=Molossops (Cynomops) brachymeles mastivus]C57
                  |         C. milleri (Osgood 1914) [=Molossops (Cynomops) milleri]C57
                  |-C. abrasusFS15
                  `--+--+--C. greenhalli Goodwin 1958FS15, G69 [=Molossops (Cynomops) greenhalliG69]
                     |  `--C. mexicanusFS15
                     `--+--C. paranus (Thomas 1901)FS15, C57 (see below for synonymy)
                        `--C. planirostris (Peters 1865)FS15, K92 [=Molossops (Cynomops) planirostrisC57]
Molossidae incertae sedis:
  Petramops Hand 1990LA02
    `--*P. creaseri Hand 1990LA02
  Mops Lesson 1842M07
    |--M. mops (De Blainville 1840)K92 [=Dysopes mopsM07, Nyctinomus mopsM07; incl. *Mops indicusM07]
    |--M. condylurus (Smith 1833)K92 [=Tadarida condyluraSBS86]
    |--M. congicusIT07
    |--M. niangaraeIT07
    |--M. niveiventerIT07
    |--M. sarasinorumIT07
    `--M. trevoriIT07
  Wellia Storer 1984SM93
    `--W. scalopidensOB13

Cynomops paranus (Thomas 1901)FS15, C57 [=Molossus planirostris paranusC57, Molossops planirostris paranusC57]

*Molossops temminckii (Burmeister 1854)C57, FS15, C57 [=Dysopes temminckiiC57, Molossus (*Molossops) temminckiiC57]

Nyctinomops aurispinosus (Peale 1848)FS15, MB86 [=Dysopes aurispinosusC57, Molossus aurispinosusC57, Tadarida aurispinosaMB86; incl. T. similis Sanborn 1941CD61]

*Nyctinomops femorosaccus (Merriam 1889)M07, FS15, MB86 [=Nyctinomus femorosaccusM07, Tadarida femorosaccaRB07]

Nyctinomops laticaudatus (Geoffroy 1805)FS15, K92 [=Molossus laticaudatusC57, Dysopes laticaudatusC57, Nyctinomus laticaudatusC57, Tadarida laticaudataC57; incl. T. laticaudata ferrugineaCD61, T. yucatanicaK92]

Promops nasutus nasutus (Spix 1823) [incl. Molossus fosteri Thomas 1901, Promops fosteri, M. fumarius Spix 1823, Dysopes rufocastaneus Schinz 1844, *Promops ursinus Gervais 1856 non Molossus ursinus Spix 1823]C57

*Type species of generic name indicated


[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria—Unguiculata—Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[CD61] Carter, D. C. & W. B. Davis. 1961. Tadarida aurispinosa (Peale) (Chiroptera: Molossidae) in North America. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 74: 161–166.

[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.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[HM99] Hand, S. J., B. S. Mackness, C. E. Wilkinson & D. M. Wilkinson. 1999. First Australian Pliocene molossid bat: Mormopterus (Micronomus) sp. from the Chinchilla local fauna, southeastern Queensland. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 57: 291–298.

[HM98] Hand, S. J., P. Murray, D. Megirian, M. Archer & H. Godthelp. 1998. Mystacinid bats (Microchiroptera) from the Australian Tertiary. Journal of Paleontology 72 (3): 538–545.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

[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.

[LA02] Long, J., M. Archer, T. Flannery & S. Hand. 2002. Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea: One Hundred Million Years of Evolution. University of New South Wales Press: Sydney.

[MB86] Matson, J. O. & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

[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.

[OB13] O’Leary, M. A., J. I. Bloch, J. J. Flynn, T. J. Gaudin, A. Giallombardo, N. P. Giannini, S. L. Goldberg, B. P. Kraatz, Z.-X. Luo, J. Meng, X. Ni, M. J. Novacek, F. A. Perini, Z. S. Randall, G. W. Rougier, E. J. Sargis, M. T. Silcox, N. B. Simmons, M. Spaulding, P. M. Velazco, M. Weksler, J. R. Wible & A. L. Cirranello. 2013. The placental mammal ancestor and the post-K-Pg radiation of placentals. Science 339: 662–667.

[RB07] Roots, E. H., & R. J. Baker. 2007. Rhogeessa parvula. Mammalian Species 804: 1–4.

[R06] Rose, K. D. 2006. The Beginning of the Age of Mammals. John Hopkins University Press: Baltimore.

[SBS86] Smith, S. A., J. W. Bickham & D. A. Schlitter. 1986. Karyotypes of eleven species of molossid bats from Africa (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Annals of Carnegie Museum 55 (7): 125–136.

[SM93] Stucky, R. K., & M. C. McKenna. 1993. Mammalia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 739–771. Chapman & Hall: London.

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