Monthly Archives: January 2019

Photo of the day (177): Bostryx

These photos have been taken at Tambo de Viso in the Rio Rimac valley of Peru. They show Bostryx multiconspectus Breure, 2008, one of the carinated species that occurs in Andean countries. As this phenomenon, despite some examples from other parts of the world, is still poorly understood, we have conducted fieldwork several years ago. For various reasons the completion of a manuscript about this work has been delayed, but is foreseen for the near future.

Photos by courtesy of Philipp Meinecke and Nora Richter-Harder.

Colonel Messager: a new paper

Freshly pressed: a new paper on the mysterious ‘Colonel Messager’ that is mentioned in the literature. This research was based on archival material in the Dautzenberg collection in Brussels, and the Messager material that is present in Paris.

The abstract reads: “We present a brief biography of Louis Gabriel Martin Messager, a French military who served in several French colonies during the last part of the 19th century and who is mentioned several time in the malacological literature as ‘Colonel Messager’. We present details on his collecting activities, also reflected in his correspondence to Bavay and Martel, and illustrated by some samples from his former collection. Also a list of eponyms is included”.

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Unfortunately we have been unable to find a picture of Messager, hence his name remains somewhat mysterious in the end.

Breure, A.S.H. & Páll-Gergely, B., 2019. More than just a name: Colonel Messager and his correspondents. – Zoosystema, 41 (2): 7-19. Link

Photo of the day (176): Bostryx

These photos are part of a series taken at El Infernillo, Rio Rimac valley near Lima. They all depict Bostryx solutus Troschel, 1847, which shows some morphological variation at this locality. This variation is still poorly understood and may be due to ecological circumstances.

Photos by courtesy of Philipp Meinecke and Nora Richter-Harder.

New Diplommatinids from Brazil

Luiz Simone just described new Diplommatinid taxa from Brazil. There is no abstract, but the introduction mentions “The present paper describes new species found in caves from Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mid-West Brazilian region. The material is comprised of minute, dry shells, in which analysis shows the necessity of describing two new species and a new genus, suggestively attributed to the terrestrial caenogastropod family Diplommatinidae”.

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It is interesting that these snails were discovered in caves, which are generally known to often have a peculiar fauna. Undoubtedly we will have more new taxa when other caves in Brazil are being explored.

Simone, L.R.L., 2019. The new genus Habeastrum, with two new species (Gastropoda, Diplommatinidae) in Mato Grosso do Sul caves, Brazil. – Zootaxa, 4543: 287-290.

Brazilian Helicina

Freshly pressed: a paper by Silva et al. on Brazilian Helicina. Their abstract reads as follows “New records for Helicina schereri Baker, 1913, are reported. It was a species previously restricted to the states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas and Tocantins in Northeastern Brazil, and State of Santa Catarina, much further south. The new occurrences reported herein fill distribution gaps and also significantly expand the range of the species ca. 970 km westwards. The new records are from the following locations: Bahia State (Ituaçu and Itaquara municipalities) in Northeast Brazil; Mato Grosso do Sul State (Bonito Municipality) in the Midwest; and Minas Gerais (Lagoa Santa municipality) in the Southeast”.

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Silva, F.S. et al., 2019. New records of Helicina schereri (Gastropoda: Helicinidae) from the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. – Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 59: e20195903 (4 pp.).

Chondropometes from western Cuba

González-Guillén et al. recently published a paper revising the species of Chondropometes from western Cuba.

Their abstract reads “The named taxa of Chondropometes land snails from western Cuba Annulariidae are reviewed and illustrated. Following a discussion of the taxonomic work to date and the morphology, distribution and ecology of these land snails, the authors make suggestions for future work based upon shell morphological features and geographic isolation of various populations”.

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In total there are 71 nominal taxa (excluding synonymies) described which are mainly recognised as subspecies in the literature. Especially C. de la Torre together with P. Bartsch have been prolific writers on this group. The value of this paper is a critical scrutinising of these taxa based on shell morphology and distribution. The authors reduce this huge amount of taxa to 10, divided into two subgenera described by Henderson & Bartsch in 1920.

González-Guillén, A., et al., 2018. The genus Chondropometes (Littorinoidea: Annulariidae) from the western karstic hills of Cuba. – The Festivus, 50 (4): 223-235.

Contributions of Morretes

Recently a paper was published on the contributions of a Brazilian malacologist, Federico Lange de Morretes (Gernet et al., 2018). The text is in Portuguese, but there is also an abstract in English: “Frederico Lange de Morretes was born on May 5, 1892, in the municipality of Morretes, Paraná, Brazil. A renowned plastic artist, he was also an important malacologist, and his scientific production in the area made him a reference for Brazilian researchers. The main objective of this paper is to make a commented compilation of the malacological studies produced by him. He published 13 scientific papers in the area of malacology, eight of them related to the description of 25 new species, two new genera and three subgenera. He also wrote three institutional technical reports on activities carried out at the Museu Paulista and at the Museu Paranaense”. He died in 1954.

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The paper contains illustrations of the type material of the newly described taxa by Morretes, one figure of which is copied above. The authors made me aware there are two persons with similar names, Frederico Godefredo Lange de Morretes and Frederico Waldemar Lange. The first was a malacologist, the latter a palaeontologist; both worked in Museu Paranaense in the 1950s. Only the latter is mentioned in ‘2400 years of malacology’ (ed. 2018) but apparently with the wrong years of birth and death, which was the source of confusion for these two semi-homonyms.

Gernet, M., et al., 2018. A contribuição de Frederico Lange de Morretes para a malacologia brasileira. – Arquivos de Zoología, 49 (3): 153-165.


Naesiotus in Spain

The globalisation of snails has taken a next step: Ramos Sánchez et al. just published a first record of a Bulimulidae species in Europe.

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Their abstract reads: “In the this article, the presence of a Bulimulidae species, classified as Naesiotus quitensis (Pfeiffer, 1848), is reported from an urban park in Madrid (Spain). This is the first citation of a species of this highly diversified Neotropical gastropod family in Europe. The species seems established in the park, but the ways of its introduction are unknown”.

Although it is a very slow process, the introduction of alien species in other ecological realms is clearly the consequence of human interventions, one way or the other. Hence there is little doubt that this introduction was a human act. We can only hope that the Spanish authorities will at least take monitoring actions.

Ramos Sánchez, J.M. et al., 2018. First citation for an exotic Bulimulidae species in Europe. Folia conchyliologica, 47: 11-14.

New streptaxids from Brazil

A new paper on Brazilian streptaxids reveals two new species. The abstract reads: “A large collection of mollusks was recently acquired by the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) from a commercial company. In this collection, the specimens of the family Streptaxidae from Brazil are both diverse and relatively abundant and are examined here. Herein are reported new records of 11 species, greatly extending the geographical range of the following: Rectartemon depressus (Heynemann, 1868), R. iguapensis (Pilsbry, 1930), R. piquetensis (Pilsbry, 1930) and Streptartemon extraneus (Haas, 1955). Additionally, two new species are described: Streptaxis leirae sp. nov. and Streptaxis megahelix sp. nov.”.

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Salvador, R.B., 2018. Notes on a new collection of Streptaxidae (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora) from Brazil, with descriptions of two new species of Streptaxis. – Integrative Systematics, 1: 25-33.

The Linter collection

Lady-conchologists were a rare kind in the 19th century, and there are few documented collections of them, but recently a paper on Miss Linter appeared.

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The abstract reads: “Miss J.E. Linter, an English lady-conchologist, originally came from Devon but spent most of her life in Twickenham, London. Her collection was started following her acquisition of the Theobald and Skinner collections and grew to some 15,000 shells. The collection is primarily of land snails from all parts of the world and contains primary and secondary type material of authors such as Sowerby, Gude, Möllendorff, Kobelt and Strebel and probably many others. She went on to amass a collection rich in species that are invaluable to taxonomic research and to wider biodiversity studies especially concerning conservation. Her collection is held at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter”.

Morgenroth, H. et al., 2018. The Miss J.E. Linter (1844-1909) collection of land snails in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, England: a provisional assessment. – Colligo, 1 (2): 16 pp.