Monthly Archives: October 2012

ICMAM 2012 Congress – abstracts

From 25-29 September, the 11th International Congress on Medical and Applied Malacology was held in Rio de Janeiro. The abstract book just appeared. It may be found here: (follow the link under the heading of Abstract book). 

Plenary lectures were given on a variety of topics (numbers in parenthesis refer to the page in the PDF):

Robert Cowie (University of Hawaii) Advancing Malacological research: crossing boundaries to have a broader impact (28).

Takahiro Asami (Shinshu University) Quantitative variation and evolution of chirality in pulmonate snails (29).

John B. Burch (University of Michigan / USA) Ethics in Scientific Publication (30).

Uthaiwan Kovitvadhi (Kasetsart University) In vitro culture of freshwater pearl mussel from glochidia to adult (31).

David Gwyn Robinson (Academy of Natural Sciences / USA) The official USDA response to invasive pest snails in the USA: two recent case studies (32).

Alejandra Rumi (Universidad Nacional de La Plata) Neglected diseases: contributions from the continental malacology (33).

José Henrique Leal (The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum) Museums and Malacological Collections (34).

Gonzalo Giribet (Harvard University) Advancing Malacology with the use of transcriptomic data (35).

Relatively few lectures and posters dealt with Neotropical land snails. Some topics that stand out are e.g. related to Lissachatina fulica, and systematics and diversity of species. 

Ana Paula M. Oliveira; Monica A. Fernandez; Silvana C. Thiengo – Aelurostrongylus abstrusus larvae (Nematoda; Metastrongyloidea) in Achatina fulica from Brazil: current situation (42). 

Daniel Coscarelli; Almir R. Pepato; Teofânia Vidigal – Systematics of genus Omalonyx from sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene and morphology (68).

Rina Ramírez; Víctor Borda; Jenny Chirinos –  Megalobulimus maximus (Gastropoda, Strophocheilidae) is not a polytypic species (69).

Meire Silva Pena –  Diversity of land mollusk in Northern Minas Gerais state or: – what do we know about the Brazilian malacofauna? (71).

Joana Zanol; Elisson Romanel; Jéssica Caeiro; Silvana C. Thiengo; Claudia A. de M. Russo – Genetic diversity of Achatina (Lissachatinafulica Bowdich, 1822 in Brazil (82).

Norma Campos Salgado; Claudio José Fernandes da Costa – The land malacofauna from Serra da Capivara National Park, Northeast of Brazil, Piauí, recognized as World Heritage Site by Unesco (91).

Meire Silva Pena – Morphological characterization of Scutalus cotopaxiensis (Pfeiffer, 1852) (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Orthalicidae) (92).  


Janine Oliveira Arruda; José Willibaldo Thomé; Luiz Roberto Malabarba – Taxonomic review and cladistic analysis of Omalonyx (Gastropoda, Succineidae) (93).


There was also a symposium on museum and systematic collections with contributions from five South American countries. Poster sessions were held on e.g. aliens species, conchology, ecology and biodiversity, genetics, morphology, and physiology and parasitology.

Supposing that the social part of a congress is as important as the scientific part, this five-day meeting undoubtedly was successful. The abstract book provides over 200 pages with the main findings of the different authors.

Megalobulimus and Systrophia

Is there any logic to combine the phylogenetics of Megalobulimus and Systrophia? No, not necessarily, unless you have some students working on these genera and their results can be wiped up together. This seems to be the case with the paper of Ramírez et al. (2012).

The paper presents new phylogenetic analyses of seven Megalobulimus  and one Systrophia species. The abstract reads as follows:

In this work we performed a biogeographic study of two genera of Amazonian land snails, Megalobulimus (Strophocheilidae) and Systrophia (Scolodontidae). We used samples from different regions of the Peruvian Amazon, as well as bibliographic information. We analyzed both nuclear (5.8S-ITS2-28S rRNA) and mitochondrial (16S rRNA) genes to reconstruct phylogenies and obtain hypotheses concerning the evolutionary relationships among Amazonian genera and other species with global distribution. The nuclear phylogeny allowed us to determine the evolutionary position of both genera, and the mitochondrial phylogeny permitted the differentiation of species at the intrageneric level. We found that Megalobulimus clustered with the non-achatinoid clade within Stylommatophora, as expected, but its relationship to family Acavidae could not be demonstrated. Systrophia did not cluster with any of the two established clades, but formed a basal one within Stylommatophora. The mitochondrial gene 16S rRNA allowed us to differentiate Megalobulimus species, and performed well for DNA barcoding of these edible snails. Biogeographical analysis revealed several endemic species in the Peruvian Amazon within both genera, highlighting the Chanchamayo and Inambari biogeographic units. 


Interestingly, the clade with Systrophia falls in between the achatinoid and non-achatinoid clades, as shown by Wade during the WCM 2010 congress.

Ramírez, R., Borda, V., Romero, P., Ramirez, J., Congrains, C., Chrinos, J., Ramírez, P., Velásquez, L.E. & Mejía, K., 2012. Biodiversidad y endemismo de los caracoles terrestres Megalobulimus y Systrophia en la Amazonia occidental. – Revista Peruana de Biología 19: 59-74.