Molecular phylogenetics and historical biogeography of Rhinolophus bats
The phylogenetic relationships within the horseshoe bats (genus Rhinolophus) are poorly resolved, particularly at deeper levels within the tree. We present a better-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis for 30 rhinolophid species based on parsimony and Bayesian analyses of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and three nuclear introns (TG, THY and PRKC1). Strong support was found for the existence of two geographic clades within the monophyletic Rhinolophidae: an African group and an Oriental assemblage. The relaxed Bayesian clock method indicated that the two rhinolophid clades diverged approximately 35 million years ago and results from Dispersal Vicariance (DIVA) analysis suggest that the horseshoe bats arose in Asia and subsequently dispersed into Europe and Africa. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.