Penile morphology in bats

Pteropus melanopogon papuanaBrowsing trough the the rich fruit bat collection of the Staatliche Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden (SMSD) we noticed an amazing variety in morphology of bat penises. Most of the stuffed bat skins we studied are more than a century old but the dried penises are well preserved and still show their morphology in good detail. Seeing all those different shapes and lengths, we think species may be identified by their penile morphology.

Keep an eye to this blog. ‘A key to the penises of stuffed Australasian fruit bats (Pteropodidae)’ will be published in episodes.

Here is # 1: Does your bat show a penis?

Yes: go to 2; No: do not use this key and pay attention to other diagnostic features.

The image shows the penis and scrotum of Pteropus melanopogon papuana, from Andai, New-Guinea. The scale is in mm.