Alien species get more and more attention. In some countries, like at the moment in Brazil (http://tudoglobal.com/blog/editorias/73850/pais-se-preocupam-com-surto-de-meningite.html?doing_wp_cron), Lissachatina fulica is a real pest, causing public health problems, and under public debate. However, there are several other species which remain less noticed because they have less economic impact.
Nearly two years ago (www.ashbreure.nl / Snailblog 7 and 11 May 2009), I published some observations on dangling snails. This week, Mike Rutherford from the University of West Indies at Trinidad, draw my attention to some early papers on this topic. R.J.L. Guppy (1866) seems to earn the credits for the first publication about this phenomenon, when he described his Adamsiella aripensis. Tryon was the first to publish a figure, in his Monograph of American molluscs (1868), depicting a Chondropoma dentata Say, 1825 dangling on a leaf.
During the finalization of a long-delayed article on snails and spiders, I checked again the sources that I used for the first draft. One of these was a review paper by Nyffelder & Symondson (2001). According to this paper, “one of the earliest published reports on malacophagy involving a spider was by Johnson (1863). He reported that the large wolf spider Isohogna [= Lycosa] maderiana (Walkenaer), found in Madeira, fed on snails.”.
Johnson, J.Y., 1863. Description of a new species of Lycosa living in the island of Madeira; with some remarks on Lycosa tarentuloides maderiana Walkenaer. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (3) 12: 152-155.
Nyffeler, M. & W.O.C. Symondson, 2001. Spiders and harvestmen as gastropod predators. Ecological Entomology 26: 617-628.
Verhoeff, C.W., 1900. Zur Biologie von Ischryropsalis. Zoologischer Anzeiger 23: 106-107.
In a new journal that appears on-line since last year, Folia conchyliologica, I found a paper by C. Audibert on a trip to Mexico, Yucat??n where he highlighted one species: Chaonopoma (Choanopomops) largillierti (Pfeiffer, 1846).
Today I found, in the latest issue of BionetBulletin, an announcement about the archive of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). It is the biodiversity information and assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and has published a lot of informative reports. Nearly 400 of these have been made accessible through the internet. Although some date back to the ’80s, I found some interesting reports (e.g. on cloud forests in Latin America).
You can find the full list on available reports here http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=wcmc. All reports are available in different formats.
Another WCMC initiative is a portal for biodiversity information, called A-Zareas of biodiversity importance (http://www.biodiversitya-z.org/). This site gives a summary of the main conservation initiatives, but links to references and publications for further details.
Some other pictures, made by Adri??n Gonz??lez in Ecuador, Prov. Imbabura, Valle de Intag. It is of a Drymaeus species, probably D. fallax (Pfeiffer, 1853) or a closely related taxon, characterized by the protruding, keeled last whorl and the aperture with a ‘pinch’. This species doesn’t look like a spectacular one at all, yet I find it charming with its grey and white tones. Adri??n writes “it was found in a very common plant, locally known as ‘chilka’, with yellow flowers that we use as guide for the social spiders in the high Andean forests”.
Recently, Adri??n Gonzalez sent me additional pictures which he made during a new nature photographing trip in Ecuador. Today I show you the picture of Porphyrobaphe irrorata (Reeve, 1849).