Monthly Archives: February 2016

Field observations on Curacao

Just appeared: a paper by Gerard van Buurt with field observations and new records on the malacofauna of Curacao. Especially the ecological observations are very interesting and a new hypothesis is formulated which may explain the disjunct distribution of Drymaeus elongatus on the island.


The abstract reads: “Currently 31 species of terrestrial snails are known from Curaçao, 28 of these are indigenous. The taxonomy of Curaçao land snails has been studied quite well. An inventory of species and subspecies exists. About their ecology however much less is known. The influence of salt spray from the sea on the distribution of some species is discussed. By observing snails in the field some conclusions about their ecology have been reached; these and some further assumptions are hereby presented. Three of the larger species of indigenous snails are discussed. These are Cerion uva, Drymaeus elongatus and Tudora megacheilos. The introduced snails Bulimulus guadalupensis, Zachrysia provisoria and Achatina fulica (= Lissachatina fulica) are briefly mentioned; the latter two are new records for Curaçao”.


Buurt, G. van, 2016. Field observations on some Curacao landsnails, and new records for its fauna. – Folia Conchyliologica 34: 1–16. Link to PDF


Bulimulus as world travelers

Some Bulimulus species can act as alien species, as has been reported here extensively with introductions in Florida (B. guadalupensis, B. aff. sporadicus), Costa Rica and Ecuador (both B. guadalupensis). As recent research has shown (Breure 2016 PeerJ in press), DNA can help to reveal the likely source of origin. However, this is only possible if there is sufficient reference data available, i.e. sequences from specimens adequately identified with good locality data.


Recently, a Bulimulus species was detected on containers originating from India, Thailand, southern China and Singapore in the port of Darwin, north Australia. Initially confused with a Cerastid species, several people now agree that it is likely a Bulimulid. However, which species? There is now speculation it is a species from Brazil or Argentina, which would place it in the Bulimulus sporadicus species-complex, extending from northern Argentina (B. bonariensis), Paraguay, Bolivia into southern Brazil. This species complex is insufficiently known, its morphological variation within its distribution is ill-documented, and with only one sequence from Paraguay as reference material the hope for a quick fix of this hitch-hiking snail is in vain. So before we might be able to solve this issue, the first action is to collect living specimens throughout the distribution range and sequence them. Work for local malacologists or a student in need for an interesting and an useful topic! Any takers?

Luckily, Bulimulus species can only be a nuisance, so far I have never heard of any real damage to the local fauna and flora.

Annulariidae from Hispaniola

Thomas Watters is known for his thorough papers on Annulariidae. A new one was just published, this time about species from Hispaniola. The species complex of Abbottella morelatiana is reviewed and A. cretaegus sp.n. is described.


The genus Abbottella, Leiabbottella, Lagopoma, and Rolleia are placed in the new subfamily Abbottellinae.

Watters, G.T., 2016. The Abbottella moreletiana complex in Hispaniola: distributional notes, a new species, and the recognition of a new subfamily (Annulariidae: Abbottellinae). – Journal of Conchology 42: 111–117.

Boettgerilla pallens in Mexico

Boettgerilla pallens Simroth, 1912 is a slug of Palearctic origin which has become invasive in the Americas (Canada, USA, and Colombia). Araiza-Gómez et al. (2016) now report this species also from Mexico, based on both anatomical dissections and molecular studies.


Araiza-Gómez, V., Ruiz, E.A., Naranjo-Garcia, E. & Zúñiga, G., 2016. Recent collecting reveals the presence of Boettgerilla pallens (Stylommatophora, Boettgerillidae) in Mexico. – American Malacological Bulletin 33: 227–231.

New Oxychona species from Brazil

Oxychona is a very distinct genus of eastern Brazil with carinated shells. So far six species are known. Porto et al. (2016) have just published about a new species they found in the Michelin Ecological Reserve in Bahia state and which is appositely named Oxychona michelini.


The paper includes data on the radula, a key to all the known species of the genus. The discussion relates to conservation aspects and mentions artificial rearing of this novelty.

Porto, R., Rocha Filho, J.R. da, Johnsson, R. & Neves, E., 2016. New species of Oxychona (Bulimulidae) from Michelin Ecological Reserve (Bahia state, northeastern Brazil). – Journal of Conchology 42: 105–110.

New Plagiodontes from Argentina

Pizá & Cazzaniga just published a new paper on Plagiodontes, the Argentinan genus they are slowly but steadily revising. In this paper they create a new species, P. parodizi, with type locality Prov. Santiago del Estero, Sierra de Guasayán, 5 km W Santa Catalina.


The new species was previously confounded with P. brackebuschii (Doering, 1877).

Pizá, J. & Cazzaniga, N.J., 2016. Plagiodontes parodizi, a new species from Argentina (Gastropoda: Odontostomidae). – Journal of Conchology 42: 1–9.

Drouët’s material of French Guiana and Martinique

Henri Drouët (1829–1900) was a French amateur malacologist who, as a civil servant, worked at different places in France and Algeria before settling after his retirement in Dijon. He was in close contact with Arthur Morelet with whom he visited the Azores in 1857. They published jointly on the marine fauna collected there, but Drouët is mainly known as a specialist in freshwater species, especially the Unionidae.

One of his lesser known publications appeared in 1859, entitled ‘Essai sur les mollusques treasures et fluviatile de la Guyana Française’. The table of contents showed that in an appendix  also molluscs from the Lesser Antillean island of Martinique were listed.

Schermafbeelding 2016-02-04 om 08.08.02

The material that Drouët treated in his ‘Essai’ had been collected by his good friend Charles Eyries, who was a lieutenant in the French Army and stayed from 1852–1856 in French Guiana; he also was for a short time in Martinique. He also received shells from J.P.S. de Grateloup who had been for a while in French Guiana, and from J.C.A. Eudes-Deslongchamps some material collected by the navy surgeon Déplanche. In total Drouët treated 48 terrestrial and 21 freshwater species, of which 10 new to science: Succinea propinqua, Streptaxis deplanchei, Bulimus rufolineatus, B. orthodoxus, B. eyriesii, B. limpidus, Pupa eyriesii, Helicina sericea, Planorbis xerampelinus, and Ampullaria welwitschiana. All are accepted as valid species, except Bulimus orthodoxus, Planorbis xerampelinus and Ampullaria welwitschiana, in the recent book on molluscs from the country by Massemin et al. (2009).

In the list of species from Martinique 5 new taxa are described: Cyclophorus liratus, C. acutiliratus, C. cinereus, Helicina pudica, and Ancylus parasitans. In the recent book of Delannoye et al. (2015), none are accepted as valid species. Two taxa are mentioned as nomina inquirenda: Cyclophorus cinereus and Helicina pudica, but by lack of known type material these could not be judged by the authors.

I myself also tried to find the type material of Drouët, and to that purpose I went to Dijon back in the 1970s. Visiting the museum in Dijon I could not locate any material. Recently Audibert (2010) located the marine material of Drouët in the collection of the Université de Bourgogne, and part of the terrestrial and fluviatile material turned up in the paleontological collection of E. Marion that is kept in the Dijon museum (Audibert, 2011). No trace, however, of the material from French Guiana and Martinique.

While studying the correspondence of the Journal de Conchyliolgie, in the possession of Wim Backhuys, I came across two letters from Drouët to Hippolyte Crosse. The first is of 3 July 1883, in which he offered him the shells used for his 1859 publication for the price of 50 francs. In the left-upper corner of the letter, Crosse wrote “accepté”. On a card dated 7 July, Drouët informed him that he had shipped these shells.



After Crosse’s death in 1898, his private collection and library was auctioned by Deyrolle in Paris on 28–30 November 1899 (Deyrolle, 1899). The lot descriptions are, as usual, very superficial, and the Drouët material is not recognizable among them. But no doubt, the material originating from Eyries was dispersed among unknown buyers and has ended up in several unknown collections. The type specimens of the Drouët taxa mentioned above have thus to be considered lost.

Audibert, C., 2010. Les collections conchyliologiques de l’Université de Bourgogne. – Folia conchyliologica 3: 5–14.
Audibert, C., 2011. Redécouverte de la collection de mollusques continentaux d’Henri Drouët (1829–1900). – Folia conchyliologica 14: 5–9.
Delannoye, R., Charles, L., Pointier, J.-P. & Massemin, D., 2015. Mollusques continentaux de la Martinique. Non-marine molluscs of Martinique, Lesser Antilles. Biotope, Mèze/Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, 328 pp.
Deyrolle, E. (fils), 1899. Catalogue de la bibliothèque et des collections de feu Crosse, directeur du Journal de Conchyliologie. Deyrolle, Paris, 156 pp.
Drouët, H., 1859. Essai sur les mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de la Guyane Française. Baillière, Paris, 116 pp.
Massemin, D., Lamy, D., Pointier, J.-P. & Gargominy, O., 2009. Coquillages et escargots de Guyane. Seashells and snails from French Guiana. Biotope, Mèze/Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, 456 pp.