Bolivian golden bat revealed as 'new species'

  • 4 August 2014
Myotis midastactus specimen (previously identified as Myotis simus) Image copyright Dr Marco Tschapka

Scientists in Bolivia have identified a new species of bat.

The golden bat or Myotis midastactus was listed as another bat found in South America called Myotis simus.

But after examining a collection of specimens in a museum, researchers now think the golden bat is unique.

The bat is recognised by its golden-yellow and very short woolly fur.

100 species of Myotis

It is this bright colour which gave the bat its new name, after the Greek legend of King Midas and his golden touch.

There are over 100 species of Myotis - or mouse-eared bats - in the world.

In the wild, the Myotis midastactus eats small insects and roosts during the day in holes in the ground, hollow trees and under thatched roofs.

Lead researcher, Dr Ricardo Moratelli said: "Discovering new species is the most exciting part of my research, and in some cases describing a new species can be the first step to preserve others."