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.

Buurt2016_1

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”.

Buurt2016_2

Reference:
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.

KessnerV

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.

Watters2016Abbottellinae

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

Reference:
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.

Boettgerilla

Reference:
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.

Porto2016

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.

Reference:
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.

piza2016

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

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