Monthly Archives: May 2013

Early Liguus collectors

During preparation for a temporary move, I was packing my malacological stuff and archives. Suddenly I hit a bunch of thin papers, type written but clearly a carbon copy as I had two identical ones. It was purely by serendipity that I found it.

The list totalled ca. 200 names, some well-known, some never heard of before. The full list is here:
What was it? I couldn’t trace it anywhere; in my (partially incomplete) correspondence archive I couldn’t find any reference to it. The title suggested the list to have been made in the end-1950s, but by whom? And had it been published or was it simply a draft?

As there are many names from people in Florida, my guess was the source had to be found there. I decided to scan it and to send to Harry Lee (Jacksonville, FL), asking him if he could shed any light on this.

He quickly replied: “Very interesting. The entry for Maxwell Smith was likely made after the University of Florida received his collection (1979; as the lion’s share of the University of Alabama Collection; see <>). This style of typography/onionskin CC is typical of Tom (maybe also brother Paul) McGinty, who resided together in Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Co., FL.

I replied I was in doubt if this was really made after 1979, since after that date (my PhD was in that year) I slowed down my research fairly quickly and wasn’t much in correspondence with people abroad. My guess was then late 1979 or 1980 at the latest. Curious that Paul McGinty is mentioned twice, one mentioning “brother of Tom” [who isn’t mentioned]; would one of these really be the author of this list?

Harry’s answer was quick again: “Based on context, I’d say that in the second McGinty entry “Paul” was a lapsus for “Thomas.” I can’t find any other evidence for entries later than 1958:
(1) Carlos Aguayo left Cuba in 1958 [see <>]. Thus that entry was made no earlier than 1958.
(2) Henry A. Pilsbry died in 1957. At the time he was still Curator of Malacology at ANSP. The author referred to him as “Former Curator.” Thus I must conclude that entry was made no earlier than 26 October, 1957. The writer used “former” rather than “late” with some consistency.
It’s possible that the Maxwell Smith entry was based on misinformation, however prescient.”

If you were an author and making such a list, would you readily make a lapsus in the name of your brother? Hmmmm….

Some hours later Harry’s white-smoked message dropped in my mailbox: “A lapsus indeed. I found the author! It was Ralph Humes; see < >. Tom McKinty [sic; second lapsus], was the Pilsbry collaborator, not Paul.”

Chapeau Harry!

My archive copies were clearly early drafts of what turned into an interesting paper, full of data and stories about the time that Liguus was out and abound in southern Florida. But still, no idea how these copies ended up in my archive…

Humes, R., 1965. A short history of Liguus collecting, with a list of collectors—1744 to 1958. – Tequesta: The Journal of the Historical Association of Southern Florida 1(25): 67-82.

Snails from western Colombia

In the cloud forests of the western Cordillera in Colombia, a nature reserve – “El Refugio” – is located along the road Cali-Buenaventura. This privately managed reserve has 14 ha of primary forest and 4 ha of secondary forest and gardens. The website ( provides a wealth of information on the different plant families that may be found here, as well as a small gallery with photos of living snails that have been encountered.

The Drymaeus species pictured is actually D. (D.) zingarensis Restrepo & Breure, 1987.

Photo of the day (143): Streptaxis ?

Today something puzzling.

Alex Popovkin, field botanist in northeastern Bahia, send me several pictures for identification.

This is definitely a subadult, possibly of Streptaxis costulosus (Pfeiffer, 1852), which is known to occur in Bahia. The closest I can get I think…

Thanks Alex!

Cuban Cerion population density

A brief paper by Suárez et al. (2012) presents some information on the population density of the Cuban species Cerion peracutum Clench & Aguayo, 1951. As no comparative information is included in the discussion, the data are presented as such.

The abstract reads:

The finding of a population of Cerion p. peracutum Clench and Aguayo, 1951 (Pulmonata: Mollusca) in Bello Monte, Guanabo, approximately to 1500 m from the tide line, increased its distributional area. It constituted the Cerion species living more distant from the shore. The population density is recorded as Locally Common (2-10 ind/m2) with a mean population density of 32.9 ind/m2 (range: 2-93 ind/m2). The species occupied the low level stratus in the vegetation.

Suárez, A., Hernández, I. & Fernández, A., 2012. Abundancia, sustrato y estrato de Cerion peracutum peracutum (Molusca: Pulmonata) en Guanabo, La Habana, Cuba. – Solenodon 10: 32-36. Available at