Discipline: Veterinary Medicine
Hair has been used in forensic science for species identification, but no study has yet been done in greater musky fruit bat (Ptenochirus jagori) and lesser dog-faced fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis). Thus, the current study was conducted to identify sexual dimorphism and interspecies variation. The hair samples were manually plucked from five different body regions of five male and five female adult animals of each species and examined grossly, under light microscopy for the medulla and scanning electron microscopy for the cuticle. Majority of the hairs exhibited simple ovate discontinuous medulla, except for the female of both species’ foreheads having an additional elongate medullary cells mixed in, while the dorsum of the female C. brachyotis had simple flattened discontinuous medulla. Only coronal cuticular pattern was seen with simple or serrate dorsal scales that were oriented transversely or obliquely. The males of both species can be differentiated by the cuticular characteristics of the hair from the forehead and hindlimb, while the females of both species had dissimilar cuticular features in their forelimbs. Guard hair morphology can be used to distinguish the frugivores under study from each other, with enough variability for sexual dimorphism.