Monthly Archives: December 2019

Records for Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

At the end of the year there is a usual flush of publications, and here is another one: Silva et al. on a collection of shells from Rio Grande do Sul state in Brazil.

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Their abstract is “The malacological collection of the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, curated by Dr. Carla B. Kotzian, has been recently donated to the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (MZSP, Brazil). The collection is rich in well preserved specimens of terrestrial gastropods from central Rio Grande do Sul state, in southernmost Brazil. That region, centered in the municipality of Santa Maria, represents a transitional area between the Atlantic Rainforest and Pampas biomes and has been scarcely reported in the literature. Therefore, we present a taxonomical study of these specimens, complemented by historical material of the MZSP collection. Overall, we report 20 species, mostly belonging to the Stylommatophora, from which four represent new records for Rio Grande do Sul: Adelopoma brasiliense, Happia vitrina, Macrodontes gargantua, and Cyclodontina corderoi. The present report of C. corderoi is also the first from Brazil. Two introduced species were found in the studied material: Bradybaena similaris and Zonitoides sp.“.

Silva, F.S. et al., 2019. Taxonomic study on a collection of terrestrial mollusks from the region of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. – Arquivos de Zoologia, 50(3): 175-190.

Galápagos land snails

Just published as advance access: a paper by Phillips et al. on colonisation and speciation in the Galápagos archipelago, based on an extensive study of DNA.

The abstract reads as follows: “Newly arrived species on young or remote islands are likely to encounter less predation and competition than source populations on continental landmasses.The associated ecological release might facilitate divergence and speciation as colonizing lineages fill previously unoccupied niche space. Characterizing the sequence and timing of colonization on islands represents the first step in determining the relative contributions of geographical isolation and ecological factors in lineage diversification. Herein, we use genome-scale data to estimate timing of colonization in Naesiotus snails to the Galápagos islands from mainland South America. We test inter-island patterns of colonization and within-island radiations to understand their contribution to community assembly. Partly contradicting previously published topologies, phylogenetic reconstructions suggest that most Naesiotus species form island-specific clades, with within-island speciation dominating cladogenesis. Galápagos Naesiotus also adhere to the island progression rule, with colonization proceeding from old to young islands and within-island diversification occurring earlier on older islands. Our work provides a framework for evaluating the contribution of colonization and in situ speciation to the diversity of other Galápagos lineages“.

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This is a very interesting study that focusses entirely on the island fauna and the within-archipelago speciation. The colonisation from the mainland and the relationship between the the mainland and off shore species of Naesiotus remains open for future work.

Phillips, J.G. et al., 2019. Archipelago-Wide Patterns of Colonization and Speciation Among an Endemic Radiation of Galápagos Land Snails. Journal of Heredity: 1-11 (advance access) doi:10.1093/jhered/esz068

Where is the Miller collection?

Just published: a paper on Konrad Miller, giving a short biography and a list of described taxa. Most of his fossil material has been located, but for me the big question is: where is the Miller collection with Recent material from Ecuador?

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The above label shows his handwriting, and can thus be a guidance for searches in museums. Likely in Germany, but I also probed the Salzburg collection (in vain!) as he bequeathed in later life his legacy to Salzburg University.

Any suggestions about his Ecuadorian material would be very helpful.

Breure, A.S.H. A little-known German naturalist: Konrad Miller (1844-1933) and his malacological contributions.  Archiv für Molluskenkunde, 148 (2): 129-136.

Hispaniolan Annulariidae

Another brief paper on Hispaniolan land snails was published by Agudo-Padrón; this time about Annulariidae, with partly unidentified material.

Agudo-Padrón, I., 2019. Joyas malacológicas forestales de la Isla La Española (Hispaniola), Caribe insular: Apuntes acerca de los caracoles rupestres Annulariidae. – Bioma, 52: 71-76.

Hispaniolan Helicina

Recently a brief paper was published presenting a brief note on the Dominican Republic, showing the beautiful colours of helicinid species:

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Agudo-Padrón, I., 2019. Joyas malacológicas forestales de la República Dominicana, Isla La Espanola (Hispaniola), Caribe insular: informaciones preliminares disponibles y desafíos en agenda. – Bioma 51: 18-22.

Season’s greetings

Holiday season starts early this year… I wish all the readers of this post a healthy and prosperous 2020, with many interesting snail findings.


For those who have closely followed my posts, the shells will be familiar (for others, see post of 12 December)…

Megalobulimus artifacts

A brief report was published by Sandra Gordillo in the Archaeomalacology Group Newsletter about this subject.

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She writes among others “The remains of Megalobulimus shells in archaeological contexts have been recorded in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela. Megalobulimus artifacts have also been recovered at sites outside of the species’ distribution area, for example in Caral-Supe, Peru, in the Atacama region, in Chile, and in the provinces of Rio Negro, Neuquén and Santa Cruz, in Patagonia Argentina. This signifies that Megalobulimus shells was an important asset of high value and used in trade and exchange networks.

Gordillo, S., 2019. Archaeological records of Megalobulimus shells as artifacts in South America. – Archaeomalacology Group Newsletter, 31: 8-9.