The Berlin collection (ZMB) is one of the important malacolgical sources for type material within Europe. Thanks to a SYNTHESYS grant I was able to work for two weeks in the collection. The result? A whole bunch of as yet undocumented types, supplementary to the annotated catalogue published by Frank K??hler in 2007.
Handwritings of malacologists are often the best kept secrets of natural history museums. One has to have a special interest in them and to inquire, otherwise one won’t get to see them.
Today two papers are summarized, one that I missed so far to mention in this blog (Glaubrecht, 2010) and one very recent (Glaubrecht and Zorn, 2012). These papers have a lot in common: both are dealing with tropical pulmonate slugs, both have biohistorical data, and both are centering on the Museum f??r Naturkunde in Berlin (ZMB).
A recent paper by Nunes and Santos (2012) describes the different environmental factors affecting land snail populations on two hill sides at Ilha Grande, Brazil.
The distribution and abundance of terrestrial molluscs are affected by environmental factors, but data are lacking for Brazilian land snails. The aim of this study was to understand the relationship between measured environmental factors and the land-snail species composition of two hillsides covered with Atlantic Rain Forest on Ilha Grande. On each hillside, five plots located at 100 m intervals between 100 to 500 m asl were chosen. Each plot was sampled by carrying out timed searches and collecting and sorting litter samples from ten quadrats of 25 ?? 75 cm. A range of environmental data was measured for each of the quadrats in a plot. A Cluster Analysis was carried out for the richness and abundance data. The environmental variables were analysed using a Pearson Correlation Matrix and Discriminant Analysis. Our results show that the two mountains are similar in species richness, but species composition and abundance are different, probably reflecting observed differences in environmental conditions. The environmental factors associated with compositional variation between the two mountains were: atmospheric temperature, soil temperature, litter depth, and relative air humidity. Distinct luminosity and canopy closure conditions were related to the composition of the land-snail community of one hillside.
Two congresses that may be interesting for those (Neotropical) snail lovers who like to stay updated with scientific news.
Philipp Meinecke and Nora Richter-Harder are German students with a keen interest in field biology. They have been traveling through Peru and observed an interesting phenomenon in the Rimac valley. The species under concern are both well-known (Bostryx solutus (Troschel, 1847)) and recently described (Bostryx multiconspectus Breure, 2008). The phenomenon is respectively uncoiling of the shell and a transition to a flat, carinated shell (see my blogposts d.d. 15 and 26 April 2008 on www.ashbreure.nl). These species were found at two different localities, El Infernillo and Tambo de Viso, both in the higher part of the valley.
These are photos of a live Paeniscutalus crenellus (Philippi, 1867), also known under its junior synonym names Megalobulimus (Microborus) incarum Pilsbry, 1944, and Strophocheilus (Microborus) tenuis Haas, 1955. This species was hitherto classified as Thaumastus (Paeniscutalus), but in my DNA research it showed clearly to be completely separate on a basal branch in the Orthalicoidea.
The last stop on my trip was Peru, where I especially followed the ‘Gringo Trail’ (Arequipa, Puno, Cuzco). In the latter area I visited some of the touristic highlights, e.g. Machu Picchu and the ‘Holy Valley’ (R??o Urubamba valley).