Monthly Archives: December 2012

New land snail from Venezuelan tepui

Venezuelan tepuis are a fascinating environment for land snails, and several new species have been described during recent years. Material from tepuis previously unexplored for their malacofauna comes in occasionally. Earlier this year Phillippe Kok (Free University, Brussels) showed some material from Angasima tepui, and one of the species appeared to be new to science.

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This new species was named after its collector, Plekocheilus (P.) phillippei; the holotype is RBINS MT2576. The anatomy (genitalia, radula) is also described.
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Reference:
Breure, A.S.H., 2012. Living in isolation: Plekocheilus (P.) philippei spec.nov. from Venezuelan Guayana (Gastropoda, Amphibulimidae). – Basteria 76: 101-106.

Colombian Pleurodontids

Traditionally the end of the year is ‘harvest time’ for papers. A new paper just appeared on the Pleurodontidae from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia; more papers on Neotropical snails are in the pipeline.

The new paper by Borrero is a thorough revision of the species from northern Colombia, based on museum collections and field work. Six already described new taxa were recognized in the material, while one new species is described: Isomeria goettingi from Dept. Magdalena, San Lorenzo, 2600 m. Holotype SMF 329554.

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Reference:
Borrero, F.J., 2012. A re-examination of the Pleurodontid land snails from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region, Colombia, with the description of a new species of Isomeria Albers (Gastropoda Pulmonata: Stylommatophora: Pleurodontidae). – Archiv f??r Molluskenkunde 141: 217-231.

New land snails from Bahia, Brazil

Luiz Simone just published a new paper on snails from the semi-arid Caatinga of Bahia, describing four new taxa, including a new genus. The new taxa are belonging to the Orthalicidae (sensu Bouchet and Rocroi 2005) and Megalobulimidae.

The new genus Kora is placed in the Orthalicidae. This genus is compared to Thaumastus [Megaspiridae sensu Breure and Romero 2012] Dryptus, Plekocheilus and Eudolichotis [Amphibulimidae], and Neopetraeus [Bulimulidae]. The assumption that Kora “someday” may be separated “from other orthalicid genera in a proper subfamily or tribe” needs further studies, especially of the anatomy and DNA.

The type species, by monotypy, is Kora corallina n.sp. from Bahia, Santa Maria da Vitória, ~460 m. Holotype MZSP 103910.

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The second new taxon is Spixia coltrorum n.sp., holotype MZSP 103920, from the same locality. In the discussion attention is drawn to the fact that in most specimens the protoconch is lost, the remaining top whorl with a calcified scar.

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From the same locality, the third new species is Anostoma tessa; holotype MZSP 103914. This species has characteristics that seems intermediate between typical Anostoma and the genus Ringicella, as distinguished by the author.
These two new species belong to the Odontostomidae (sensu Breure and Romero 2012), easily characterized by the apertural dentition.

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Finally, the last new species is Megalobulimus amandus. The type series (holotype MZSP 103917) was collected at the same locality.

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The recognition of all these new taxa from material collected at a single locality in the interior of the state Bahia, highlights the hidden biodiversity of this semi-arid environment. This paper is part of a project to improve the knowledge of biogeography and evolution in that specific environment. 

Reference:
Simone, L.R.L., 2012. Taxonomical study on a sample of pulmonates from Santa Maria da Vitória, Bahia, Brazil, with description of a new genus and four new species (Mollusca: Orthalicidae and Megalobulimidae). – Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 52 (36): 431-439.
Available at www.scielo.br/paz

First Argentinan malacological congress

From 18-20 September 2013, the first Argentinan malacological congress (1CAM) will be held in La Plata. It is organized by the Asociaci??n Argentina de Malacologia (ASAM) and the Facultat de Ciencias Naturales y Museo de la Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP).

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This congress fits in the trend of more malacological activities in Latin American countries, and is therefore very welcomed.

Bulimulus sporadicus: new dimension

The recent report by Bill Frank and Harry Lee of this introduced species around Jacksonville, Florida (also reported at their site http://www.jaxshells.org/gallery5.htm), quite unexpectedly took a new turn. Derek Brown mailed me the following, adding the dimension time to space:

???As an avid naturalist from a very young age, I can recall finding this type of snail many times before. My family has always lived close to the railroad tracks – possibly why I’ve seen this snail at all. I have tried to identify them recently without much success. (???) There are two creeks which run down the side of the railroad tracks along Roosevelt Blvd in some areas. Perhaps this was how they got their start in the Murray Hill, Lakeshore and Ortega area of Jacksonville, Florida. I can recall seeing them for my entire life. Although, considering I would have been too young to remember the first time I saw one, a conservative estimate would be 20 – 25 years???.

From this it is clear that this is not a recent introduction and the snails have had time to disperse. Two points here. First, they have been able to keep unnoticed for many years until Bill Frank hit a population at Duval Corp. Second, the rail tracks seem to have acted as a pathway for dispersal; the spread of their populations is thus facilitated by human activities. Would it be possible to compare that to their ‘natural’ dispersal ability? E.g. by investigating suitable habitat perpendicular to the railroad tracks.

Derek also sent me two pictures, remarking ???I saw one snail waiting in the same spot all day long. The following morning, another one arrived. I took a few pictures of the snails doing their ‘slow dance’.???

Thanks Derek for sharing this info.

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Dates of Doering’s papers – at least some of them

Adolf D??ring was born in 1848 in Hannover (Germany) and was 24 years old when he transferred to Argentina, where he took the name Adolfo Doering. According to Zilch (1967: 32) he studied pharmacy, but donated in 1870 a collection of shells found near Lemgo, a small city in Nordrhein-Westfalen, to the museum in Frankfurt am Main. In Argentina he settled in C??rdoba, where he became Professor of chemistry at the Universidad Nacional. In this figure, edited after Acosta (2006: fig. 1), we see Doering amidst his fellow-founders of the Facultad de Ciencias F??sico-Matem??ticas of the University in 1876.

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Doering started to publish a series of papers on Argentinan land- and freshwater shells in 1874, in which described a number of new taxa both at the generic and species level. Thanks to Sergio Miquel, who did some bibliographic research in libraries in Buenos Aires, we have been able to clarify the dates of publication of several papers. We also clarified the status of his taxon Clessinia, which has been disputed in literature. The brief paper has just been published in Zootaxa.

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See also Parodiz (1963) for further data on papers of Adolfo Doering, here pictured at unknown age (source: Anonymous 2012), and a list of taxa described by him.

References:
Acosta, L.E., 2006. Una historia del Peri??dico Zool??gico y la primer Sociedad Zool??gica Argentina (1874-1881). – Miscel??nea Academia Nacional de Ciencias, C??rdoba 105: 1-23.
Anonymous, 2012. Adolfo Doering. Available at http://www.anc-argentina.org.ar/web/academicos/doering-a.
Breure, A.S.H. & Miquel, S.E., 2012. More than a number: clarifying the dates of publication of some paper of A. Doering on land and freshwater shells from Argentina and a note on his taxon Clessinia (Odontostomidae). – Zootaxa 3572: 18-22.
Parodiz, J.J. 1963. Observaciones anatomicas sobre Omalonyx patera Doer., con una nota biografica acerca de Adolfo Doering (1848-1926). – Sterkiana 12: 1-7.
Zilch, A. 1967. Geschichte der malakologischen Sektion. – Archiv f??r Molluskenkunde 97: 7-43.