Herman Cremers kindly sent me some photographs that he received from Rolf Nijsse, made in the El Yunque cloud forest on Puerto Rico. They show live specimens of Pleurodonte carocolla (L., 1758).
Maria José Miranda, a young researcher from Argentina, has just published a new paper on some Bostryx species from that country. As it is advance access, the printed version will follow later.
The abstract reads: “Morphology of the shell, radula, jaw, anatomy and sculpture of the inner wall of the reproductive system are described and compared for three species belonging to the Bostryx tortoranus species complex. On the basis of these characters, the following changes are proposed: Bostryx martinezi (Hylton Scott, 1965) is removed from synonymy with Bostryx tortoranus (Doering, 1879) and Bulimulus (Scansicochlea) cicheroi Hylton Scott, 1967 is transferred from synonymy with B. tortoranus to synonymy with B. martinezi. As a result of these changes, the number of species of Bostryx known from Argentina has increased to 19 species. Bostryx tortoranus and B. martinezi are redescribed, also the radula and anatomy of Bostryx rudisculptus (Parodiz, 1956) are described for the first time. The main distinctive morphological characters of the three species are: the structure of the shell’s protoconch and teleoconch, radular morphology, location of the secondary ureter opening, the length of the free oviduct with respect to the vagina and the epiphallus with respect to the penis and the bursa copulatrix duct’s inner wall sculpture. Bostryx martinezi and B. rudisculptus have restricted distributions and are ecologically endemic, whereas B. tortoranus has a wide distribution and is located in different dry ecoregions”.
Miranda, M.J. (2015) Bostryx tortoranus (Doering, 1879) species complex (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Bulimulidae), a review of taxonomy and distribution of endemic species from Argentina. – Journal of Natural History, DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2014.981313 (advance access).
Thanks to the continuous effort of some Brazilian colleagues, the malacofauna of that country is enriched last year with several new taxa. I here briefly report on two contributions.
Fontanella et al. reported on shell mounds in Santa Catarina which remained from ancient times when Paleoamericans used shells to make ornaments and tools, or used them as a food source. One of the species discovered during archeological work on remains in Jaguaruna municipality is a new species of Megalobulimus, M. jaguarunensis.
Another paper describing a new species of Leiostracus was published by Salvador & Cavallari, based on a single shell in the Senckenberg Museum Frankfurt, without precise habitat and locality data.
Fontenelle J.H., Cavallari D.C. & Simone L.R.L. (2014) A new species of Megalobulimus (Gastropoda, Strophocheilidae) from Brazilian shell mounds. – Strombus 21: 30–37.
Salvador, R.B. & Cavallari, D.C. (2014) A new species of Leiostracus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Orthalicoidea) from Espirito Santo, Brazil. – Iheringia, Zoologia 104: 364–366.
Edmundo Martinez kindly send me some pictures which show an extraordinary wind accumulation of Bostryx shells on a sandy slope of the coastal range in northern Chile. The hill is 450 meters high and the shells are distributed from the top to the base.
This phenomenon is so evident, that can even be seen from a plane looking down, as shown on this photo in Google Earth (2014 image, see marker); the simulated ‘flight height’ is 9.6 km.
Today the final part of the sequel on types of Orthalicoidea in the Natural History Museum, London was published. When I prepared my SYNTHESYS application back in 2010 for this project, one of the elements was the sentence “Good documentation of type material is crucial to establish a stable taxonomy”. Five years later and a total of 616 pages further down the line, type material of 592 taxa in this museum has been documented.