Yes, my little geeks and nerdlings, the folks over at ScienceDaily.com have done it once again!
Researchers have identified a new genus of bat after discovering a rare specimen in South Sudan.
Bucknell University Associate Professor of Biology DeeAnn Reeder and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Programme Officer Adrian Garside were leading a team conducting field research and pursuing conservation efforts when Reeder spotted the animal in Bangangai Game Reserve.
“My attention was immediately drawn to the bat’s strikingly beautiful and distinct pattern of spots and stripes. It was clearly a very extraordinary animal, one that I had never seen before,” recalled Reeder. “I knew the second I saw it that it was the find of a lifetime.”
After returning to the United States, Reeder determined the bat was the same as one originally captured in nearby Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1939 and named Glauconycteris superba, but she and colleagues did not believe that it fit with other bats in the genus Glauconycteris.
“After careful analysis, it is clear that it doesn’t belong in the genus that it’s in right now,” Reeder said. “Its cranial characters, its wing characters, its size, the ears — literally everything you look at doesn’t fit. It’s so unique that we need to create a new genus.”
Reeder and her colleagues placed this bat into a new genus — Niumbaha. The word means “rare” or “unusual” in Zande, the language of the Azande people in Western Equatoria State, where the bat was captured. The bat is just the fifth specimen of its kind ever collected, and the first in South Sudan.
Thanks, Dr Reeder, for bringing this adorable little sweetiepie to our attention and giving it the proper classification!
 Photo Credit: LeeAnn Reeder, Bucknell University
Research Paper: “A new genus for a rare African vespertilionid bat: insights from South Sudan”, published by the journal ZooKeys, author: DeeAnn Reeder, along with co-authors from the Smithsonian Institution and the Islamic University in Uganda.