A new species of Pteralopex (Chiroptera: Pteropodidae) from Montane Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Pteralopex pulchra n.sp. is described. It is known from a single specimen collected at 1,230 m on the south slopes of Mount Makarakomburu, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. It is probably restricted to altitudes in excess of 1,200 m, where it possibly replaces Pteralopex atrata which is restricted to lower elevations. This species pair possibly forms the only example among Solomon Islands mammals of altitudinal replacement. The morphology of P. pulchra n.sp. is intermediate in some respects between that of the two previously known Solomon Islands species (P. anceps and P. atrata), and the Fijian P. acrodonta. Pteralopex pulchra n.sp. is unique however in the possession of extensively black and white mottled wings, bright red eyes and a yellowish venter which contrasts strongly with the blackish back.