I finally finished going through the last volume of Handbook of Mammals of the World. It is the best one in the series: parts of the text look like they’ve actually been proofread, and only a handful of maps are misplaced or don’t correspond to the text.

The plates are also better. Alas, one of the illustrators obviously wasn’t up to the job: his images are all copypasted and often don’t look even remotely similar to the animals they are supposed to portray, including some common and well-known species with hundreds of photos easily available online, such as North American Lasiurus. Just look at the photo of one of the plates: #252 is supposed to be the hoary bat.

Other serious issues are: (1) there is no introduction explaining various technical terms used in describing bat morphology and echolocation calls; (2) many bats were apparently painted with all details of their facial structure accurately shown, but printed so small that those details are not visible, rendering many plates useless, particularly those showing horseshoe bats; (3) some authors show serious pro-splitting bias, ignoring or refusing to follow recommended lumps but almost always accepting splits; (4) many recent publications were missed, particularly on taxa occurring in East Asia (could be the same for Africa and Latin America, I just don’t know).

Taxonomic changes are too numerous to list, but for those interested I have an updated global checklist; it mostly follows HBW, but incorporates more recent papers and a few that the authors of the volume apparently missed. Just let me know and I’ll send you a PDF.

  1. Phil Gregory 3 years ago

    Hi Vladimir,
    I’d like a copy of your mammals list please, thank you

  2. Munkhnast Dalannast 3 years ago

    Dear Vladimir,

    I would like have pdf copy at

    Thank you,

  3. Phil Gregory 3 years ago

    oreornis@gmail .com for Phil G thank you

  4. Author
    Vladimir Dinets 3 years ago

    Speaking of taxonomy changes, there is a proposal to split the meadow vole into three PSC species: The authors didn’t sample the contact zone or conduct cross-breeding experiments. They found the insular vole to be a subspecies of meadow vole, but that’s been obvious for some time.

  5. Author
    Vladimir Dinets 3 years ago

    Also, Tonatia saurophila has been split into 3 spp., 2 of them extant:

  6. Jon Swenson 3 years ago

    Dear Vladimir,
    Thanks for useful review. I just received HMW9 and would really appreciate a copy of the pdf you referred to.

  7. Author
    Vladimir Dinets 3 years ago


  8. Olli Haukkovaara 3 years ago

    Please send me a copy as well, I would appreciate it a lot, my e-mail is

  9. Author
  10. twilighter 2 years ago

    Hi Vladimir, thanks for the review! Can you please send me the list.

  11. Carlos M 2 years ago

    Hi Vladimir
    I know it has been a while since you posted this, but I was wondering, Can I get a copy of your pdf? I would really appreciate it.
    My email:

    • Author
      Vladimir Dinets 2 years ago

      Sure, but I haven’t gone through all the recent squirrel changes.

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