Monthly Archives: May 2020

Cuban Red List

It had escaped my attention, but already in 2016 a Red List of terrestrial invertebrates for Cuba was published. It deals with Mollusca, Insecta and Arachnida.

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The chapter on molluscs contains species of Cerionidae, Annulariidae, Cepolidae, Helicinidae, Urocoptidae, Orthalicidae, and Pleurodontidae. In total 88 (sub)species are listed and assessed according to the IUCN criteria. This < 10% of the species known from the island.

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A very useful source of information and a good basis for further research.

Hidalgo-Gato González, M.M. et al., 2016. Libro Rojo de invetrebrados terrestres de Cuba. – Editorial Academia, La Habana, 241 pp. Link

Fossils from Isla de la Juventud

Aranda et al. published a study on fossil land species from Cuba. Their abstract is as follows: “The fossil record of Isla de la Juventud, the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago, is very limited in the number of taxa and localities so far studied but can be key to further understand the biogeographical history and extinction of the fauna in the region. Here, we report the faunal assemblages of two recently discovered Quaternary deposits containing numerous vertebrates and land snails in northern Isla de la Juventud. The first locality, a marble breccia on the coast of Punta Bibijagua, contained remains of an extinct rodent and a sloth. The second locality, a dissolution fissure filled with fossil-bearing sediment in a marble quarry in Sierra de Casas, contained a rich assemblage of land snails and vertebrates. Nineteen species, 14 genera and nine families of gastropods were identified, of which 11 species and two genera are endemic. The snail fossil assemblage is similar to the community of living gastropods in the locality. Moreover, 12 taxa, four of them extinct, 11 genera from ten families of terrestrial vertebrates were recognized; including the first report of fossils frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, and tortoises from Isla de la Juventud. Because remains at Sierra de Casas were collected ex-situ, any possible stratigraphic relationship among them was lost, but we were able to determine the presence of at least two taphonomic modes that suggest different depositional histories. Furthermore, we found no evidence of extinction or extirpation among land snails in the region, but of the vertebrates’ assemblage two rodents, two sloths and a tortoise went extinct. These five taxa also disappeared in the mainland, suggesting that the extinction was in some cases taxonomic specific across the Cuban Archipelago”.

This appears a solid study on land snails from several families, among others Helicinidae, Annularridae, Urocoptidae, Oleacinidae and Cepolidae. As fossil studies from this island are limited, this is the first report on Quaternary land snails from Isla de la Juventud.

Aranda, E. et al., 2020. New insights on the quaternary fossil record of Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. – Journal of South American Earth Sciences 102: e102656 (16 p.).

Regional inventory Brazil

The continued inventory of Santa Catarina State in Brazil is subject of anothby eeAgudo-Padrón: “Based on the last list of non-marine molluscs from Santa Catarina State/SC published in March 2018, with 232 related forms, the current inventory of continental molluscs (land/terrestrial and limnic/freshwater) occurring in the State of Santa Catarina/SC is increased, with a new verified/confirmed registry of most other twenty (20) species (-fifteen (15) gastropods, thirteen (13) natives-Pomacea maculata Perry, 1810; Phyllocaulis sp (in determination process); Drepanotrema kermatoides (d’Orbigny, 1835); Anisancylus obliquus (Broderip & Sowerby, 1832); Drymaeus cf. paucipunctus (Pilsbry, 1898); Leiostracus cf. polygrammus (Moricand, 1836); Leiostracus sp (in determination process); Omalonyx matheroni (Potiez & Michaud, 1838); Peltella cf. palliolum (Férussac, 1821); Peltella iheringi Leme, 1968; Streptaxis cf. subregularis (Pfeiffer, 1846); Streptaxis cf. tumescens Suter, 1900; Gastrocopta cf. servilis (Gould, 1843); and two (2) non-native/exotic invasives forms – Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude, 1900); Galba (-Lymnaea) truncatula (Müller, 1774); …besides five (5) native bivalves-Diplodon charruana (d’Orbigny, 1835); Diplodon (-Rhipidodonta) suavidicus (Lea, 1856); Musculium argentinum (d’Orbigny, 1835); Eupera bahiensis (Spix, 1827); Cyanocyclas paranacensis (d’Orbigny, 1835) -), for a new total verified/ confirmed registry of 252 species and subspecies, sustained/consolidated product of complete 24 years of systematic field researches, examination of specimens deposited in collections of museums and parallel reference studies. Addition- al information regarding its known regional geographic distribution is incorporated/included“.

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Agudo-Padrón, I., 2020. Additions to the Systematic Inventory of Non-Marine Molluscs Occurring in the State of Santa Catarina/SC, Central Southern Brazil Region. – Advances in Environmental Studies 4(1): 261-270. Link

New regional study from Venezuela

Recently published: a new paper by Bello-Pulido & Agudo-Padron on the regional malacofauna of northeastern Venezuela. “Although the continental fauna of the Araya Peninsula is considered one of the best documented in the arid zones of Sucre state, the bibliographic record of the diversity of non-marine molluscs is practically non-existent, for this reason the Ecological Research Center of Guayacán (Venezuela) and the Projeto Avulsos Malacológicos (Brazil) recorded samples of terrestrial and freshwater molluscs, fossils, sub-fossils and recent at 80 sampling points in different serum environments during the 2010-2012 and 2017-2018 periods. As a result, 18 species belonging to the Gastropoda class were recorded, distributed in 16 genus and 12 families, represented by 15 native and three introduced species; 14 terrestrial and four freshwater species. The trophophilous forests, xerophilous shrubs and temporary runoffs, housed the largest number of species, followed by temporary lagoons and urban areas. Twelve mollusk species (not invasive) are no longer part of the living fauna and the remaining still persist as a surviving faunistic elements“.

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This is a Spanish publication in a journal that is not readily available, so I am also presenting here the species list.

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There are a few spurious things in the list above (e.g. ‘Kobelt & Schwanheim, 1912’ needs to be Kobelt, 1912 as Schwanheim was the place where he lived; Oxystyla is a junior synonym of Orthalicus, etc.), but as such this is a useful paper given the scanty information that is available on Venezuelan continental species, most literature being > 100 years old.

Bello-Pulido, J.A. & Agudo-Padrón, A.I. 2019*. Aproximación al conocimiento de la malacofauna continental de la Península de Araya, Estado Sucre, Venezuela Nororiental. Boletin del Instituto Oceanográfico de Venezuela 58(1): 29-41.

Revision of Cepolis

Recently Tom Watters published one of his revisionary papers on West Indian molluscs. “The genus Cepolis Montfort, 1810 (Cepolidae) is endemic to the Tiburon and Barahona peninsulas of Hispaniola (Greater Antilles). Eight species are recognized in Cepolidae including two new species. The taxonomy of the group is hindered by references to inadequate figures, vague or missing type localities, and other nomenclatural problems. Cepolis Montfort, 1810 is here divided into three distinct genera: Cepolis, Cepolella n. gen. and Laevicepolis n. gen.
New genera: Cepolella n. gen., type species Cepolis definita Fulton, 1908; Laevicepolis n. gen., type species Helix porcellana Grateloup, 1840. New species: Cepolis isomeroides n. sp. from the Massif de la Selle of Haiti; Cepolis infissa n. sp. from the western highlands of the Sierra de Baoruco. New combinations: Cepolis definita (Fulton, 1908), Cepolis trizonaloides (Brown, 1862) and Cepolis trizonalis (Grateloup, 1840) are transferred to Cepolella n. gen.; Cepolis porcellana (Grateloup, 1840) is transferred to Laevicepolis n. gen.“.

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It is most regrettable that Tom Watters died before he could see this paper in print. It has his usual thoroughness and keen eye for details that makes his contributions so valuable for the knowledge of Neotropical biodiversity.

Watters, G.T., 2020. Review of the Hispaniolan land snail genus Cepolis Montfort, 1810 (Gastropoda: Helicoidea: Cepolidae). Novapex 21(1): 1-15.

New record for Brazil

Salvador et al. just published a new paper, of which the abstract is “We report the first Brazilian record of Leiostracus demerarensis (L. Pfeiffer, 1861) from Pará and Maranhão states. The distribution of this species now comprises Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and northern Brazil. Furthermore, given the uncertainty in generic and familial allocation of this species (either Bostryx Troschel, 1847, Bulimulidae, or Leiostracus Albers, 1850, Simpulopsidae), we used the barcoding segment of the COI gene to ascertain its classification in Simpulopsidae, retaining it as Leiostracus demerarensis. Moreover, Simpulopsis luteolus (Ancey, 1901) is also reported for the first time from Pará state“.

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The correct classification of this species was discussed a few years ago by Muratov & Gargominy in 2011, who considered it as a Bostryx species and based themselves on material collected in French Guiana. This new Brazilian record allowed the authors also check the molecular data, which confirmed its placement in Leiostracus. Hence a case where the DNA helped to judge between two conflicting views.

Salvador, R.B. et al., 2020. First record of Leiostracus demerarensis (L. Pfeiffer, 1861) from Brazil (Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea), with a taxonomic reassessment. – CheckList 16(2): 507-512.