Monthly Archives: December 2011

Season’s Greetings

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This year Bothriembryon species; an Australian relative of a Neotropical group.
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New taxa (29): Practicolella

In a recent issue of The Nautilus (Perez, 2011) a new species of polygyrid land snail of the genus Praticolella from northeastern Mexico is described. This species has established invasive populations in the United States and Caribbean and has been confused with P. griseola and P. berlandierianaPraticolella mexicana spec. nov. is similar to P. griseola, but differs in being larger, having a more robust, depressed shell with white pigmentation, a flattened wide body whorl, and a more oval-shaped aperture. The range of these two species does not appear to overlap with P. berlandieriana, which is restricted to central, north, and east Texas. These two species are also circumscribed and their taxonomic history is reviewed. This new taxonomy was established using mitochondrial 16S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit-I sequences as well as geometric morphometric examination of the shells of each species.

The type locality of P. mexicana is: Mexico, Edo. Nuevo Leon, 15 km SW Linares. Holotype ANSP 426031.

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Reference:
Perez, K.E. (2011) A new species of Praticolella (Gastropoda: Polygyridae) from northeastern Mexico and revision of several species of this genus. – The Nautilus 125(3): 113-126.

New taxa (28): Thaumastus

In a recent issue of Zoologia (formerly Revista Brasileira de Zoologia) a paper appeared with new taxa of Orthalicidae (Pena et al., 2011).

Two new species of Thaumastus (Thaumastus) from the state of Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, are described. They are diagnosed and characterized by the morphology of the shell and soft parts and compared with Brazilian species of the subgenus Thaumastus s.s. Martens, 1860. 

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Thaumastus (T.) parvus sp. nov. is similar to T (T.) baixoguanduensis Pena, Coelho & Salgado, 1996 but can be distinguished by the smaller size, smaller number of plates in the jaw, different number of follicle groups in the ovotestis and form of the fertilization complex. 
Type locality: Brazil, Edo. Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Serra do Curral, Mangabeiras Park. Holotype: MNRJ 8107.

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Thaumastus (T.) caetensis sp. nov. is similar to T. (T.) largillierti (Philippi, 1845) but differs by the width and the contour of the parietal side of the shell aperture. T. (T.) caetensis is also closer to Thaumastus (T.) baixoguanduensis but can be distinguished by the smaller dimensions (height, width and number of protoconch whorls), the lack of a transversal light band on the body whorl, the jaw with smaller number of plates, and the radula with 35 teeth. In the soft parts, this new species differs also in the number of follicle gatherings in ovotestis, fertilization complex with globose shape, and penian retractor muscle terminally and laterally attached to flagellum.
Type locality: Brazil, Edo. Minas Gerais, Caet??, Serra da Piedade. Holotype MNRJ 8097.

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Reference:
Pena, M., Salgado, N. & Coelho, A.C. dos Santos, 2011. Two new species of Thaumastus (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Orthalicidae: Bulimulinae) from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. – Zoologia 28(4):531-537. 

Photo of the day (130): Bothriembryon

Alan Longbottom kindly sent me some notes and pictures of Bothriembryon species in the Esperance area of Western Australia.

First some pictures of B. dux (Pfeiffer, 1861), the largest species of the genus which is known to burry themselves up to 35 cm in the ground. Here are pictures both of a living snail and burring itself to hibernate till the next season.

The second species is B. balteolus Iredale, 1939, which is a rather variable species in coloration. Photo of a living specimen from Western Australia, Sieda:

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Also a picture of a place where broken specimens were found, centred around a stone. 

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According to Alan, this stone was used by a Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor); he added “the stone in the photo is the only one for some distance and almost certainly has been carried in by the bird”. So far, predation on Bothriembryon was only ascribed to rodents and this seems the first record of bird predation.

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