Monthly Archives: January 2013

A new infection of Lissachatina fulica

The Giant African Snail, Lissachatina fulica, has set foot on the island of Cura??ao. In a just published press release, Mr Gerard van Buurt and Dr Mark Vermeij (CARMABI) announced the discovery of these snails in a garden in Oud Jan Thiel on the island. 

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CARMABI is now starting investigations about the possible presence of hazardous parasite infections in the animals captured. The extent of the population also has to be established by further research.

A new snail family from Mexico

In the flow of end-of-the-year papers, Thompson & Naranjo-Garc??a made a remarkable one in which they described a new family of semi-slugs from northeastern Mexico, The family, named Echinichidae, currently comprises a new genus, Echinix, three species and is placed in the superfamily Xanthonychoidea.

The genus Echinix is characterized by a combination of 15 morphological characters, mainly from the inner anatomy. 
The first new species is Echinix ochracea is described from Edo. Tamaulipas, Sierra de Guatamala, about 8.5 km SW G??mez Frias Biological Reserve, 2000 m altitude; holotype UF 22112.

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The second new species is Echinix granulata, of which the holotype was found in Edo. Edo. Quer??taro, Pinal de Amoles; holotype UF 267283.

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Thirdly, Echinix rugosa is described from Edo. Quer??taro, Sierra Gordo Biosphere Reserve, at km 233 of road Jalpan-Xilitla, 1850-1900 m. Holotype CNMO 3926.

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This well-written paper ends with a characterisation of the family Echinidae, and a discussion of the relationships within the superfamily Xanthonichoidea. This paper proofs that the biodiversity of this relatively well-known country still holds undescribed taxa, even at the family level. 

Reference:
Thompson, F.G. & Naranjo-Garc??a, E., 2012. Echinichidae, a new family of dart-bearing helicoid slugs from Mexico, with the description of a new genus and three new species (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Xanthonychoidea). – Archiv fur Molluskenkunde 141: 197-208.

European invaders in southern Chile

The terrestrial malacofauna of Chile is relatively poorly known. Hence every new paper sheds light on this interesting part of South America. Landler & Nuñez (2012) are reporting on a collecting trip from Santiago de Chile to the region south of Puerto Montt in 2009/2010. They are contributing distributional data, and ecological observations, with emphasis on terrestrial gastropods imported from Europe and their possible impact.

Alien slugs are widely distributed in Chile, and the most southernly localities for Arion intermedius and Limax maximus are recorded. Also the most southern occurrence on the mainland of Oxychila cellarius is recorded. The data contribute also to the control of potentially problematic species.

Reference:
Landler, L. & Nuñez, J.J., 2012. European invaders in South America: terrestrial snails and slugs in southern Chile. Journal of Conchology 41: 263-265.

Colombian Pleurodontidae

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.

Isomeria from Ecuador

In some cases it is difficult to recognise a species because no type material is known to compare collected specimens against. Sometimes one has to be lucky, e.g. by finding material in old collections that can be traced back as (probable) types.

Borrero & Araujo (2012) describe at length such a case where in total three specimens have been found in two different museums, of what they consider to be Isomeria morula (Hidalgo, 1870). A lectotype has now beem selected from the material in the Madrid museum to define the taxon, and the taxonomic position is clarified.

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The text of the abstract reads: A clarification of the status of Isomeria morula (Hidalgo 1870) is given, based on the recently rediscovered, likely type specimen at Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN, Madrid, Spain), and additional material from University of Michigan Museum of Zoology (UMMZ, Ann Arbor USA). The available material (three specimens) comes from older collections (i.e., mid- to late 1800???s) from Ecuador. The specimen at MNCN is here designated as the lectotype of I. morula (Hidalgo 1870). Conchological characteristics are discussed and this species is fully illustrated for the first time. Comparisons of this taxon with other Isomeria from western South America and a partial key are also given, thus contributing to clarifying its status and recognizing it from other species in the genus. The geographic distribution of I. morula and its conservation status remain unknown.

Reference:
Borrero, F.J. & Araujo, R., 2012. Clarification of the taxonomic status of Isomeria morula (Hidalgo, 1870), from Ecuador (Gastropoda, Pleurodontidae). – Journal of Conchology 41: 145-152.

New land snails from French Guiana

Published just before the end of the year, Gargominy & Muratov described three new land snails from French Guiana; one of these species is placed in a new genus.

This is the first paper on the malacofauna of this country after the recent revision of Massemin et al. (2009), in which the first author covered the land snails. Material obtained from sieved leaf litter and soil collected during 1997 and 1999 yielded three new species so far; however, many of the micromolluscs then collected prove to be new to science but still await description. More papers are thus to be expected.

The abstract of the paper is:
Three new species and a new genus of terrestrial gastropods are described from the Reserve naturelle des Nouragues in French Guiana. Cyclopedus anselini n. gen., n. sp. (forming new monotypical genus in the family Neocyclotidae Kobelt & M??llendorff, 1897) seems to be the smallest known cyclophoroid in the western hemisphere. The descriptions of the other two new species, Pseudosubulina theoripkeni n. sp. and P. nouraguensis n. sp., from the family Spiraxidae Baker, 1939, extend not only our knowledge of the geographical distribution of Pseudosubulina Strebel & Pfeffer, 1882 (previously known with certainty from Mexico only) but also the diagnosis of this genus, which now includes species with large penial stimulator and apertural dentition.

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Cyclopedus anselini n. gen., n. sp.

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Pseudosubulina theoripkeni n. sp.

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Pseudosubulina nouraguensis n. sp.

Reference:
Gargominy, O. & Muratov, I., 2012. New taxa of land snails from French Guiana. – Zoosystema 34: 783-792.