If Mystacina robusta is, indeed, extinct, then Mystacina tu-berculata is the only surviving member of a unique bat family endemic to New Zealand. These bats represent a unique evolutionary history and are part of the rich cultural and natural heritage of New Zealand. Their nectar-feeding and insect-eating habits also make them valuable pollinators of native trees and predators of insect pests.
1. Lesser New Zealand short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata); 2. Greater New Zealand short-tailed bat (Mystacina robusta). (Illustration by Barbara Duperron)
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