Miniopterus schreibersii is a polytypic bat species, with one of the widest distribution ranges among the mammals. We studied the genetic differentiation and taxonomy of this species in the transition zone between south-eastern Europe and Anatolia (in Asia), where two subspecies have been described. The results indicated a sharp genetic break between the samples from western Anatolia and south-eastern Europe and those of eastern Anatolia. In addition, the samples from western Anatolia and south-eastern Europe were seen to be reciprocally monophyletic, although the differentiation was less drastic. These patterns of genetic differentiation suggest the presence of two distinct groups within the M. schreibersii complex in the region, concordant with previous subspecific recognition. The cause of this genetic break is most likely differentiation in separate glacial refugia followed by secondary contact. However, more samples are needed to assess whether these represent different species, as well as to understand more clearly the causes of this differentiation. (c) 2006 The Linnean Society of London.