A new pest species in Brazil

Recently Teixeira et al. (2017) reported on the finding of a new introduced pest species in Brazil. “The Japanese land snail Ovachlamys fulgens is reported for the first time in Brazil. We recorded the species in 2015 and 2017 in the municipalities of Santos and São Vicente in the metropolitan region of Baixada Santista, São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil. We found the species in an urban park and in a secondary forest altered by exotic plants. As this species is considered a pest and is capable of transmitting disease to humans, we propose that urgent measures be taken by the Brazilian government to control its populations”.

Teixeira, L. et al., 2017. First record of the Japanese land snail Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude, 1900) (Gastropoda, Helicarionidae) in Brazil. – CheckList, 13 (5): 703–706. https://doi.org/10.15560/13.5.703


Bostryx voithianus rediscovered

Just published: a rediscovery of one of the very rare Bostryx species from the Chilean coast by Martínez (2017).

Bostryx voithianus (Pfeiffer, 1847) is reported, for the first time since its description, from northern Chile. In the original description, a particular type locality was not given for this species, but to it was described as collected in Chile by Thomas Bridges for the Hugh Cuming collection. Herein, the type locality is assigned to the Chilean Coastal Range between the places Cuesta La Arena (28.5721° S) and Quebrada Honda (29.5952° S), northern Chile”.

This paper gives a good overview of the historical background of the material collected by Bridges, and a useful indication of the localities. Only empty shells were collected, the challenge to check if the species is extant still exists.

Martínez, E., 2017. Rediscovery of Bostryx voithianus (Pfeiffer, 1847) (Gastropoda, Pulmonata) in northern Chile, with notes on the type locality. – CheckList, 13 (6): 1125-1129. https://doi.org/10.15560/13.6.1125

Protoglyptus luciae from Martinique

Recently a fourth Protoglyptus species, P. luciae (Pilsbry, 1897), has been reported from the Caribbean island of Martinique by Bertrand (2017). This species was found at three different localities relatively close together, mainly in secondary forest.

Bertrand, A., 2017. Protoglyptus luciae (Pilsbry, 1897) (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Bulimulidae) espèce nouvelle pour la faune de Martinique. – Folia conchyliologica, 43: 5-7.

Hispaniolan Weinlandipoma

Freshly pressed: a review by Thomas Watters of twenty Weinlandipoma species from Hispaniola, with description of seven new taxa: W. charybdis, W. corbis, W. formonense, W. gregoi, W. pruinosum, W. silmarilium, and W. tylotum. Species are distributed on either the Massif de la Hotte or the Massif de la Selle on the Tiburon Peninsula of the island. Most are locally endemic, often confined to a single mountain peak or slope or island. All are currently susceptible to extinction.

This is another sound contribution of Watters to the malacofauna of the Caribbean area.

Watters, G.T., 2017. A review of Weinlandipoma (Gastropoda, Littorinoidea, Annulariidae) from the Tiburon Peninsula of Hispaniola: imperiled local endemics. – Basteria, 81 (4-6): 65-89.

Season’s greetings

This year I continue with a thematic card based on my current research. As some of you already know, one of my projects, together with Jonathan Ablett (London museum) and Cédric Audibert (Lyon museum), is to prepare a monograph on the malacological contributions of Arthur Morelet (1809-1892). We aim to see this in print next year…
The card is inspired by this research, figuring both original figures by Morelet and some of his type material housed in the London museum. Incidentally, all species are African, and Morelet’s contribution to our knowledge on that continent’s malacofauna will be dealt with on a symposium (February 3rd, in The Hague; see http://www.spirula.nl/van-bruggen/).
My list of publications of this year can be found on my site (https://breure.wordpress.com/publications/); two scheduled for the end of the month and more to come next year…
For now, I wish all my followers a pleasant holiday season and all the best for 2018!

Nomenclature explained

Incidentally I found on the net a very useful document, explaining the use of biological (i.e. zoological) names and also of relevant articles in the ICZN Code.

Even those who are familiar with the Code can find bits of information that are enlightening. Personally I was happy to see a further explanation of Art. 11.6 which rules the names published as junior synonym (p. 68-69). As Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote to me, this is especially for malacologists a hot topic and needs further action from the Commission. But the 5th edition of the Code is only expected in 2020 or later, so in the meantime one has to cope with the situation by trying to keep nomenclature as stabile as possible.

The document can be found at http//www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=2784 or at https://tinyurl.com/ycgvy48v.

Mirror-image snails

It does not occur often, but in some groups mirror-snails do occur. Officially called eniantomorphy, there are several examples in Neotropical land snails (e.g., in Drymaeus and Corona species). Recently Richards et al. have publishe some interesting research on this phenomenon.

Variation in the shell coiling, or chirality, of land snails provides an opportunity to investigate the potential for “single-gene” speciation, because mating between individuals of opposite chirality is believed not possible if the snails mate in a face-to-face position. However, the evidence in support of single-gene speciation is sparse, mostly based upon single-gene mitochondrial studies and patterns of chiral variation between species. Previously, we used a theoretical model to show that as the chiral phenotype of offspring is determined by the maternal genotype, occasional chiral reversals may take place and enable gene flow between mirror image morphs, preventing speciation. Here, we show empirically that there is recent or ongoing gene flow between the different chiral types of Japanese Euhadra species. We also report evidence of mating between mirror-image morphs, directly showing the potential for gene flow. Thus, theoretical models are suggestive of gene flow between oppositely coiled snails, and our empirical study shows that they can mate and that there is gene flow in Euhadra. More than a single gene is required before chiral variation in shell coiling can be considered to have created a new species”.

This study of Japanese snails suggested that the mirror-images might be one species, which has implications for classification. Unfortunately, the situation with Neotropical left- and right-hand snails is less clear; while in some Corona species samples with both dextral and sinistral specimens are known, this is not the case in Drymaeus species. Thus in the latter case we even do not know which species might be siblings and potentially one and the same. This is a challenge for future (field) work!

Richards, P.M. et al., 2017. Single-gene speciation: Mating and gene flow between mirror-image snails. Evolution Letters, (advance online) DOI:10.1002/evl3.31