Slug(gish) science (and revisited)

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).

The families treat in both papers are the Vaginulidae, Agrolimacidae, Limacidae and Urocyclidae. The use of the Vaginulidae needs some special remark, as this is a group usually referred to by authors dealing with the Neotropics as Veronicellidae. Glaubrecht (2010: 321-322) has given arguments for both the Vaginulidae Gray, 1847 and Veronicellidae Gray, 1840 being available names for the same group. Following the ICZN rules, the name should have priority which was used by most authors, i.e. Vaginulidae.

In both papers biohistorical data are presented. Glaubrecht (2010) gives interesting information about the slug expert Heinrich Simroth (1851-1917). The recent paper by Glaubrecht and Zorn (2012) presents brief biosketches of Karl Eduard von Martens (1831-1904), Johannes Thiele (1860-1935), Carl Gottfried Semper (1832-1893), and David Friedrich Heynemann (1829-1904).

Finally, both papers give annotated type catalogues of slug species present in the ZMB collection. In total 26 types of Neotropical Vaginulid species are present in the Berlin collection. 

For those wondering why preparing annotated type catalogues is still considered useful work, I would highly recommend to read the introduction of Glaubrecht and Zorn (2012, and references therein) about taxonomic redundancy.

Glaubrecht, M., 2010. Slug(-gisch) science, or an annotated catalogue of the types of tropical vaginulid and agriolimacid pulmonates (Mollusca, Gastropoda), described by Heinrich Simroth (1851-1917), in the Natural History Museum Berlin. – Zoosystematics and Evolution 86: 315-335.
Glaubrecht, M. and Zorn, C., 2012. More slug(-gish) science: Another annotated catalogue on types of tropical pulmonate slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the collection of the Natural History Museum Berlin. – Zoosystematics and Evolution 88: 33-51.



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