Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - 9:20 AM
Douglas Firs (Boise Centre on the Grove)

Scanning Electron Microscopy of Bat Hair from Utah

John Sowa, Britten D. Sessions, Chanell E. Nielson, Wesley Skidmore, and Wilford Hess. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Surface hair scale patterns from nineteen selected bat species (families Vespertilionidae and Molossidae) from Utah were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Hair width, scale length and height, scale patterns and scale positions in relation to the longitudinal direction of hair were used to characterize differences in hair morphology between species within families. Previous bat hair morphological studies indicate possible similarities and variations within families. Hair morphology studies make it evident that large variations and slight similarities can be visualized and that the variation in hair morphology between and within species of the family Vespertilionidae suggest that more precise measurements than those used in the past may be necessary to better characterize the hair morphology within and between species in this family. In the family Molossidae there are indications that between species distinctions and possibly within family distinctions may be possible using SEM images to visualize and characterize morphological characteristics of hair, although only two species were studied in this family.