Cuban Cepolidae: anatomical data

Freshly pressed, a paper by Hernandez ea about a Cuban land snail. The abstract is as follows: “This study provides the first data on the genital anatomy, jaw and radula of Guladentia subtussulcata (L. Pfeiffer, 1863). The auxiliary copulatory organ of this species is very peculiar, similar to that of Jeanneretia L. Pfeiffer, 1877, and different from that of other cepolids. It consists of an elongate, pedunculate mucus gland inserted apically on a muscular papilla and an atrial sac, all covered by a sheath. A sheath-like accessory gland is inserted at the base of the atrial sac. Another similarity with Jeanneretia is the pres- ence of a fertilization pouch-spermatheca complex with a single exposed spermatheca. Like JeanneretiaGsubtussulcata has an oxygnath, highly arched jaw with slight striae over the entire surface and a broad, well-developed median projection. The radula has triangular and monocuspid central and lateral teeth (the central teeth are smaller than the rest). The marginal teeth are multicuspid with the mesocone and ectocones smaller than the endocones. The similar structures of the auxiliary copulatory organ (without dart sac) and spermatheca (simple) strongly suggest that Gsubtussulcata and Jeanneretia spp. are closely related. As such, it remains to be decided whether Guladentia Clench & Aguayo, 1951 and Jeanneretia should continue to be treated as separate genera.”

While this study provides data on one species only, it nonetheless poses an question about the validity of the genus. Therefore additional studies of the related species should shed more light on this question.

Hernandez, M. e.a., 2022. Genital anatomy, jaw and radula of Guladentia subtussulcata (Helicoidea, Cepolidae), endemic to western Cuba. – ZooKeys 1080: 99-106.

Veronicellidae: nomenclature

Just appeared: a note by Cowie et al. on the correct name of one of the genera in this family. The abstract reads: “There has been, and to some extent remains, confusion over the valid genus name for a group of slugs in the family Veronicellidae, either Vaginulus Férussac, 1822 or Vaginula auctt., often cited as of Berthold, 1827 or sometimes as of Blainville, 1828. We show that Vaginula was first made available as an emendation of Vaginulus Férussac by Hoffman in 1925 (Article 33.2.1 of the Code) and that all previous usages of the name were therefore incorrect subsequent spellings. However, Hoffman’s emendation was unjustified (Art. 33.2.3). Vaginulus Férussac is the valid name and Vaginula Hoffman is a junior objective synonym. Vaginula Hoffman is also a junior homonym of Vaginula Risso, 1826 (Protozoa, Foraminifera) and of Vaginula Sowerby, 1833 (Gastropoda, Pteropoda).”

Although the Neotropical genera are not directly affected in daily use, the correct nomenclatural use is always good to communicate, even if the issue has been dealt before as the above table shows :).

Cowie, R.H. e.a., 2021. Vaginulus Férussac, 1822, not Vaginula auctt. is the valid name for a genus of slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Systellommatophora, Veronicellidae). – Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 78: 219-225.

Bulimulus tenuissimus

Bulimulus tenuissimus (Férussac, 1832) is a widespread synanthropic species in South America. It is known by its medical-veterinary importance and is considered an economically important agricultural pest. Bulimulus tenuissimus has aspects of its growth history, behavior, physiology, ecology, and toxicology under laboratory conditions fairly well investigated. Nevertheless, the dearth of information on its morphology contrasts to its importance. Up to now, only brief studies about hard parts, pallial cavity, and reproductive system are known. The present study aims to redescribe this species through a detailed investigation on the anatomy of the soft and hard parts, including the growth series, with emphasis on the reproductive system. The species is here characterized by a conical shell, sculptured only with growth lines, pedal sole narrow, with a marginal muscular ring on dorsal view, pallial cavity long, highly vascularized, pneumostome protected by mantle folds, radular formula (20(12)1(12)20), crop absent, salivary glands fused, ovotestis with four lobes, arborescent in shape, talon slender, partially immersed in albumen gland, penis sheath present, flagellum small and spiral, bursa copulatrix duct medially enlarged, nervous ring asymmetrical, pleural, parietal and unpaired visceral ganglia partially fused, left parietal and visceral ganglia indistinguishable, statocysts dorso-laterally attached to the pedal ganglia. Growth series suggests protandric development. Also, the first record of spermatophores for Btenuissimus and a comparison with its congenerics are provided”.

This is a useful study for a species with medical and agricultural importance. I still have hopes that someone in Brazil will undertake a similar study for Bulimulus sporadicus, but including molecular studies in its distribution area. These Bulimulus species are notoriously difficult to pinpoint, therefore such a study would also be very welcome.

La Pasta, G. & Oliveira, C.D. de C., 2021. So close yet so far. Redescription of Bulimulus tenuissimus (Férussac, 1832) (Gastropoda: Bulimulidae), a common synanthropic species from South America. – The Nautilus 135(3-4): 67-77.

Micromolluscs and bromeliads

Recently a short research note was published about findings of Pupisoma species in Argentina on bromeliads. Porta & Miquel reported them from Tillandsia species in Buenos Aires Province, where they found them to be common at the sampled localities. Their records extend the distribution nearly 500 km to the south of the known distribution. They suggest that specific collecting techniques could shed light on the current distribution of these microsnails.

Bromeliads are a suitable habitat for snails, and especially the larger bromeliad species hold water and provide thus potentially a suitable habitat for snails. The problem is that these plants grow in many placed in the canopies (or at least higher in the trees), and outside the reach of the average malacologist which relies on hand-picking as collecting method.

Porta, A.O. & Miquel, S.E., 2021. New southernmost records of the genus Pupisoma (Valloniidae) using a novel collecting method on tree bromeliads. – Journal of Conchology 44: 203-206.

New paper on Drouët

Freshly pressed: a new paper on Henri Drouët (1827-1900), who has contributed to our knowledge on the malacofauna of French Guiana and the Caribbean island Martinique. His main interest, however, was with Unionidae from the Palearctic region.

In this paper we present a short biography (a portrait unfortunately could not be found), a bibliography, a list of new names introduced by him, his eponyms, his contact network, and we discuss the relationship with Bourguignat and his Nouvelle École.

Audibert, C. & Breure, A.S.H., 2021. Joseph Henry Drouët (1827-1900): a biographical sketch, bibliography, and his contributions to malacology. – Archiv für Molluskenkunde 150(2): 87-106.

Shells from southern Bahia

Santos Silva et al. just published a synopsis of the malacofauna from this Brazilian region. The abstract reads “The terrestrial and freshwater malacofauna of southern Bahia is little known, especially in comparison to the well-studied eastern portion of the state covered by remnants of Atlantic Forest. We present here a synopsis of all gastropod species known from the central southern region of Bahia state, known as ‘Centro-Sul Baiano’, focusing on four municipalities: Condeúba, Cordeiros, Mortugaba, and Piripá. The list herein contains data from the literature, historical material deposited in museum collections, and two recent expeditions undertaken in the region. The survey resulted in 21 species of gastropods, with nearly 700 voucher specimens (mostly freshwater) deposited in the collection of the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil). Circa 30% of the species are non-indigenous; previously, the only known exotic in the region was Melanoides tuberculata (Müller, 1774). The family Achatinidae was the most diverse group in number of native species, while the typically diverse superfamily Orthalicoidea was represented by only two species”.

Santos Silva, F. et al., 2021. Synopsis of the terrestrial and freshwater gastropod fauna of southern Bahia, Brazil. – Arquivos de Zoologia 52(3): 41-61.

New papers

Freshly published, two papers related in part to Neotropical land snails. The first one is on type specimens found in the Copenhagen museum. “The rediscovery in the Copenhagen museum of type material of Buccinum zebra O.F. Müller, 1774 enables us to resolve its status after more than two centuries, with the designation of a lectotype. It confirms the earlier suggestion of Rehder that this taxon is identical to Orthalicus maracaibensis L. Pfeif­fer, 1856, which thus becomes a junior subjective synonym of Müller’s taxon. Zebra gruneri Strebel, 1909 is now also placed in the synonymy of Orthalicus zebra (O.F. Müller, 1774). We also provide a note on the material of Buccinum fasciatum var. α O.F. Müller, 1774, corresponding to the nominate Liguus fasciatus (O.F. Müller, 1774). Finally type material of Helix exilis O.F. Müller, 1774 was found, enabling us to iden­tify it as Ariophanta exilis (O.F. Müller, 1774), with Nanina bistrialis H. Beck, 1837 as a junior synonym (new synonymy).”

The second paper is dealing with additions and several corrections to the book on Morelet, extracted from recent literature where some of Morelet’s taxa received a new systematic position.

Breure, A.S.H., Ablett, J.D., González Guillén, A. & Lee, H.G., 2021. The rediscovery of Müller’s type material: resolution of the status of Buccinum zebra O.F. Müller, 1774, with additional notes on Buccinum fasciatum O.F. Müller, 1774 and Helix exilis O.F. Müller, 1774 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicidae, Ariophantidae). – Basteria 85(2): 109-115.
Breure, A.S.H. & Ablett, J.D., 2021. Morelet’s contributions to malacology: additions and corrections. – Basteria 85(2): 157-161.

New book on Isla de la Juventud, Cuba

Recently came to my notice, a new book on the snails of the Isla de Pinos (now Isla de la Juventud), south of Cuba published by Modesto Correoso.

The back side of the book reads as follows “This Monographic Contribution characterises the terrestrial and fluvial Pineros Molluscs (from the Isle of Pines, nowadays Isle of Youth, Cuba) as a typical group of its fauna. It analytically and scientifically inventories the molluscs: in 36 families, 58 genera and 105 species. Biogeographically this malacofauna groups terrestrial and fluvial species, with an approximate 64.9% of local endemism and a high taxonomic diversity. It explains and characterises the biodiversity, endemism, biogeographical distribution, ecology, conservation status and threats of this fauna, using tables similar to the red list of world biological diversity. It includes environmental criteria for assessing their importance and more than 100 photographs, mostly unpublished by the author, of endemic and native species, which are not always easy to observe. The historiography of Pinera’s malacological history is reviewed with the chronological visits of experts to the territory. An important text for the malacological natural history of the Pinero territory and also of the region. Aimed at students and professionals among others. Text based on scientific research, academic theses and personal experiences of the author in two countries.”

On the author’s blog sites (here and here) it is stated that this book is a revised edition from his PhD thesis (1993) and a paper published in 2003.

Correoso, M., 2019. Contribución a la malacología Pinera. Los moluscos terrestres y fluviales de la Isla de la Juventud (Isla de Pinos) Cuba. – Editorial Academica Espanol, 300 pp. Paperback, 15 x 22 cm, ISBN 978 6139 46573 6. € 82.90 []/$ 93.00 [].