Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bostryx hamiltoni

Valentín Mogollón sent me pictures of Bostryx hamiltoni (Reeve, 1849), collected by him at Cerro Huajsapata, near Puno, Peru at 3890-3920m elevation. These are the first pictures of the living animal.

Many thanks for sharing these!



For those who do not know it yet, some years ago it was decided that the marine species list (WoRMS) should be extended to incorporate also the land and freshwater species. This week a workshop has been held in Ostend (Belgium) to bring a number of new editors into the team of – now officially called – MolluscaBase. They include Dai Herbert, Frank Köhler, Barna Páll-Gergely, Ira Richling, Maxim Vinarski, and myself. Together with Eike Neubert and Ruud Bank we will enter newly described land and freshwater species and genera into the system, and also work on the ‘backlog’ of all pre-2018 described taxa (some have already been done).

From left to right: two members of the data management team at VLIZ, Ruud Bank, Frank Köhler, Dai Herbert.

From left to right: Barna Páll-Gergely, Ruud Bank, Eike Neubert.

From left to right: Maxim Vinarski, Ira Richling.

MolluscaBase is a taxonomically oriented database which aims to provide an authoritative, permanently updated account of all molluscan species. The basic taxonomic unit in MolluscaBase is the binomen, i.e. the combination of a genus name and a specific epithet.

Some scientists make an extensive use of subgenera and/or subspecies. Such combinations are flagged in MolluscaBase as “alternate representation”, i.e. both name strings (with/without subgenus, with/without subspecies) are taxonomically correct, but only the binomen is flagged as “accepted”.

Other status include “taxon inquirendum”, for a name which is listed from a literature source, but has not been recently re-evaluated for taxonomic validity and/or generic or familial placement, and “nomen dubium” for a name which resists revision because the description and other supporting data are deficient.

During the workshop bulk data were submitted for European and South African species, which will soon appear online. Please be patient to see all Neotropical taxa be added to the system. And if you publish new papers containing new Neotropical land and freshwater molluscs, be so kind to send me a PDF once this is available and I’ll make sure the data are added to MolluscaBase:

Workshop in human-mollusc interactions

Just received: announcement of an international workshop on human-mollusc interactions in the Paris museum January 30-February 2. More info about the programme and for free registration:

If you are interested in ethnography, archeology, or shellfishing, free during those days and around Paris, it’s worth considering.

Revised classification of gastropod names

Just published: the revised nomenclator and classification of gastropod families (and above) by Bouchet et al., 2017. It is an update of the first version, now more than 10 years ago, plus an addition of monoplacophoran families.

The abstract reads “2,604 names at the rank of subtribe, tribe, subfamily, family and superfamily have been proposed for Recent and fossil gastropods, and another 35 for monoplacophorans. All names are listed in a nomenclator giving full bibliographical reference, date of publication, typfication, and their nomenclatural availability and validity under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Another 790 names, established for categories above the family- group (infraorder to subclass) are listed separately. A fully ranked, hierarchical classification summarizes recent advances in the phylogeny of the Gastropoda and Monoplacophora. In all, the classification recognizes as valid a total of 721 gastropod families, of which 245 are known exclusively as fossils and 476 occur in the Recent with or without a fossil record; and 20 monoplacophoran families, of which 1 only occurs as Recent.

Nomenclatural acts in this work: Amberleya bathonica Cox & Arkell, 1950, fixed as type species of Amberleya J. Morris & Lycett, 1851, under Art. 70.3; Ampezzopleura tenuis Nützel, 1998, fixed as type species of Ampezzopleura Bandel, 1991, under Art. 70.3; Proserpina nitida G. B. Sowerby II, 1839, designated type species of Despoena Newton, 1891; Buccinum glabratum Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Dipsaccus H. Adams & A. Adams, 1853; Murex ficus Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Ficula Swainson, 1835; Oncomelania hupensis Gredler, 1881, designated type species of Hemibia Heude, 1890; Murex metaxa Delle Chiaje, 1828, fixed as type species of Metaxia Monterosato, 1884 under Art. 70.3; Neridomus anglicus Cox & Arkell, 1950, fixed as type species of Neridomus J. Morris & Lycett, 1851, under Art. 70.3; Navicella clypeolum Récluz, 1843, designated type species of Orthopoma Gray, 1868; Trochus viadrinus M. Schmidt, 1905, fixed as type species of Parataphrus Chavan, 1954 under Art. 70.3; Helix pomatia Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Pentataenia A. Schmidt, 1855; Flammulina ponsonbyi Suter, 1897, fixed as type species of Phenacohelix Suter, 1892, under Art. 70.3; Cyrtolites corniculum Eichwald, 1860, fixed as type species of Pollicina Koken, 1895, under Art. 70.3; Purpurina elegantula d’Orbigny, 1850, designated as type species of Purpurina d’Orbigny, 1850, and lectotype of Turbo bellona d’Orbigny, 1850, designated as neotype of Purpurina elegantula; Pyramidella minuscula Monterosato, 1880, fixed as type species of Tiberia Jeffreys, 1884, under Art. 70.3; Cyclostoma delicatum Philippi, 1844, fixed as type species of Trachysma G. O. Sars, 1878, under Art. 70.3; Helix elegans Gmelin, 1791, fixed as type species of Trochoidea T. Brown, 1827, under Art. 70.3; Turritellopsis stimpsoni Dall, 1919, fixed as type species of Turritellopsis G. O. Sars, 1878, under Art. 70.3; Fusus averillii Gabb, 1864, fixed as type species of Volutoderma Gabb, 1876, under Art. 70.3; Voluta pepo Lightfoot, 1786, fixed as type species of Yetus Bowdich, 1822. Curnonidae d’Udekem d’Acoz, nom. nov., and Curnon d’Udekem d’Acoz, nom. nov., are established for Charcotiidae Odhner, 1926, and Charcotia Vayssière, 1906, (between 27 March and 1 May), non Charcotia Chevreux, 1906 (January) [Amphipoda]; Yuopisthonematidae Nützel, nom. nov., and Yuopisthonema Nützel, nom. nov., are established for Opisthonematidae Yu, 1976, and Opisthonema Yu, 1974, non Gill, 1862 [Pisces]. The new family-group name Burnupiidae Albrecht is established in this work; and the names Scolodontina and Orthalicoidei are first used here to denote, respectively, a suborder containing the family Scolodontidae, and an infraorder containing the superfamily Orthalicoidea”.

This important work will serve as a guide for the correct classification of higher levels in these groups, and also as a rich source for data. The references contain several collations providing publication dates for different parts of works.

Bouchet et al., 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification of Gastropod and Monoplacophoran Families. – Malacologia, 61 (1-2): 1-526.

Terrestrial snails on ABC islands

In the stream of end-of-year publications, Hovestadt & van Leeuwen (2017) just published an important overview of the land snails from Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The abstract reads “A review is given of the terrestrial malacofauna of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean. The most recent reviews of these islands were given in 1924 by Baker and in 1940 by Wagenaar Hummelinck. Wagenaar Hummelinck accepted fewer species and subspecies than Baker, without giving any arguments. Baker did give a detailed account making it possible to recognize his taxa in the eld. Genetic research by Harasewych in 2015 supported Baker’s views with regard to the genus Cerion. Figures are provided for most taxa so each can be identified. Helicina dysoni L. Pfeiffer, 1849, Leptinaria lamellata (Potiez & Michaud, 1835), and Polygyra cereolus (Megerle von Mühlfeldt, 1816) are reported here for the first time, Guppya molengraafi Baker, 1924 has been rediscovered”.

After an introduction dealing with geography, geology, climate and vegetation, the previous research on this group from the islands is discussed. The following systematical part gives data on the distribution followed by remarks, and an illustration of each species. This paper is a nice addition to earlier, recent papers on other islands in the Lesser Antilles.

Hovestadt, A. & van Leeuwen, S., 2017. Terrestrial molluscs of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean: an updated checklist and guide to identification. – Vita Malacologica, 16: 1-39.



Genetic structure in a Humboldtiana species

López et al. (2017) published about the genetic structure of a Humboldtiana species in north-western Mexico. The abstract reads “Phylogeographic studies of different montane biological groups in Mexico have revealed complex patterns in a broad scale but an absence of genetic structure within local mountain systems such as the Sierra Madre Occidental. In this study, we estimate the genetic structure and demographic history of the endemic land snail Humboldtiana durangoensis within this mountain range. Nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in 178 individuals from 16 localities throughout the complete geographic distribution were analyzed. Strong deviations from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium and low levels of heterozygosity were detected in the seven genetic clusters. The gene flow between two of the main geographic regions (North and South) was symmetric (~4 individuals). In addition, the analysis detected changes in the effective population size indicating that both geographic regions experienced a drastic reduction in their effective population size probably associated with the Pleistocene climatic changes”.

This is a specialised study but with an interesting methodology.

López, B. et al. , 2017. Strong genetic structure and signs of population bottlenecks in the land snail Humboldtiana durangoensis in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Western Mexico. – Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 55 (4): 288-297.

Just published: Crosse correspondence

My last paper this year deals with the correspondence of Hippolyte Crosse, managing director of the Journal de conchyliologie from 1861 till 1898. This archive contains nearly 3000 letters from 391 natural persons. We have listed all correspondents and provided examples of their handwriting of many persons, as well of photographs as far as these were available.

This archive is a rich source of information, which already has partly been studied in papers earlier this year, but much still waits for further research. The paper is available through the link on my publications page.

Breure, A.S.H. & Audibert, C., 2017. ‘Mon cher Directeur’: an inventory of the correspondence addressed to Hippolyte Crosse during his years as director of the ‘Journal de conchyliologie’. – Folia conchyliologica, 44: 3-108.