The only previous record of the Long-eared bat genus Nyctophilus from the island of Timor is a specimen collected by the Baudin expedition in 1803, used to describe Nyctophilus timoriensis by Geoffroy (1806). However, its geographic attribution to Timor is contentious because of uncertainty regarding the characteristics and the identity of the type material of timoriensis, and because no further specimens from Timor have been available until now. Here, we report on three specimens of Nyctophilus collected in 2003 at Maubisse, in the mountains of Timor-Leste (East Timor), which we tentatively assign to N. timoriensis. We present a revised concept of N. timoriensis based on a re-interpretation of the original description and illustration, as well as examination of the suspected holotype. Our assessment differs from the prevailing view of timoriensis as representing a large-bodied Nyctophilus with a rudimentary snout mound (similar to the Australian species N. major Gray, 1844, with which it has often incorrectly been synonymized). Instead, N. timoriensis is a medium-sized species with an enlarged snout mound, closely resembling N. heran Kitchener et al., 1991, from Lembata Island, Indonesia, and N. geoffroyi Leach, 1821, of mainland Australia and Tasmania. Further revisionary work is needed to resolve the taxonomy and relationships of these similar species.
Parnaby, Harry E., and Kristofer M. Helgen. 2023. Rediscovery of the long-eared bat genus Nyctophilus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Timor and a reassessment of Nyctophilus timoriensis. In Contributions to Mammalogy and Zooarchaeology of Wallacea, ed. K. M. Helgen and R. K. Jones. Records of the Australian Museum 75(5): 629–652.