Predation by land planarians

Land planarians are increasingly been reported as predators of land snails, and several reports have been summarised by Cseh et al. (2017), as well as presenting new data.

“The food preference of Obama anthropophila Amaral, Leal-Zanchet & Carbayo, 2015, a species that seems to be spreading across Brazil’s human-modified environments, was investigated. Extensive experiments led to the conclusion that the generalized diet of this species may have facilitated its dispersal. The analysis of 132 feeding records of 44 geoplaninid species revealed a tendency for closely related species to feed on individuals from similar taxonomic groups, suggesting that in this group behavioral evolution is more conserved than phylogenetic diversification”.

The paper supplies a table with the known prey animals of land planarians.

Cseh, A. et al., 2017. Observations on food preference of Neotropical land planarians (Platyhelminthes), with emphasis on Obama anthropophila, and their phylogenetic diversification. – Zoologia (Curitiba), 34:e12622


An overlooked designation

Taxonomy of fossils and recent species sometimes intertwines as demonstrated by a new publication of Kadolsky.

A nice update for the correct names of the Hispaniolan malacofauna.

Kadolsky, D., 2017. On the type species of the genus Galactochilus Sandberger, 1875, with a review of the identity of Helix cornumilitare Linnaeus, 1758 and of its misidentifications (Gastropoda: Helicoidea). – Archiv für Molluskenkunde, 146: 97-110.

Bourguignat letters

A new paper was just published which sheds some light on the controversy between Bourguignat and Crosse during the last half of the 19th century. This is a publication of the project on the history of European malacology.

Audibert, C., Backhuys, W. & Breure, A.S.H., 2017. ‘Une petite histoire malacologique’: two letters from Bourguignat to Crosse, or a story of friction between malacologists. – Journal of Conchology, 42: 407–411.

Petit de la Saussaye

Just published: a study about Petit de la Saussaye, the founder of the Journal de conchyliologie in 1850. The paper gives a short biography, his bibliography, a list of his described taxa and some of his correspondence that was found in an archive.

Breure, A.S.H. & Backhuys, W., 2017. Sauveur Abel Aubert Petit de la Saussaye (1792–1870), his malacological work and taxa, with notes on his correspondence. – Archiv für Molluskenkunde, 146: 71-96.

New Scutalus from Chile

Freshly published: a paper with the description of a new species from northern Chile. The species, of which only shells were collected, is tentatively assigned to the genus Scutalus. This genus is hitherto not recognised in Chile, but occurs more northern in the coastal area of Peru.

The abstract reads “A new species of Scutalus Albers, 1850 (Gastropoda: Bulimulidae), Scutalus chango sp. n., is described from a coastal area of northern Chile. Empty shells of this new species were found buried in sand and under boulders and rocks in the foothills of the Chilean Coastal Range at Paposo, Región de Antofagasta. This new species is distinguished from all other Chilean terrestrial snails by its slender shell with a flared and reflected aperture, and by the presence of a columellar fold. This is the first record of Scutalus in Chile, and the southernmost record for this endemic South American bulimulid genus. The presence of this species in Paposo highlights the need for further research and for conservation guidelines in coastal areas of northern Chile, which have comparatively high levels of biodiversity and endemism”.

Araya, J.F. & Breure, A.S.H., 2017. A new terrestrial snail species (Gastropoda: Bulimulidae) from the Región de Antofagasta, northern Chile.  PeerJ 5: e3538 (11 p.).

New papers

Incidentally two new papers were published this weekend, both on historical malacology. One of on Henri Martel (1846-1927). “The “correspondence conchyliologique adressée à Henri Martel” is preserved in the Dautzenberg archives. This resource gives a good picture of the contact network of this amateur, who was mainly active after his retirement from military service. Summaries are given of the letters which were sent to Martel by Bavay, Dautzenberg, and Pallary”.

The second paper deals with the contributions of Baudon: “Biographical data is presented about Auguste Adolphe Baudon (1821-1905), together with a bibliography of his malacological works. His new taxa, both Recent and fossil, are listed, as well as eponyms dedicated to him. His network of scientific contacts has been reconstructed from his papers and his correspondence archive, for which an overview is presented listing his correspondents, the time period and the number of letters”.

Breure, A.S.H., 2017. ’Mon cher Colonel’: The conchological correspondence of Henri Martel (1846-1927) in the Ph. Dautzenberg archives, Brussels. – Folia conchyliologica, 39: 9-20.
Breure, A.S.H. & Moolenbeek, R.G., 2017. Auguste Adolphe Baudon (1821-1905): his malacological works and taxa, and his correspondence archive. – Folia conchyliologica, 39: 21-32.


Philippi and his malacological contribution

Just published in the latest issue of the journal Malacologia: two papers authored by Coan and Kabat on the life of Rudolph Amandus Philippi (1808-1904) and his contributions to malacology.

This paper provides a biography of Rudolph Amandus Philippi (1808–1904), emphasizing his malacological research and his contributions to the natural history of Chile. Philippi is one of the most important, yet overlooked malacologists of the 19th century. He authored significant publications on the Recent and fossil molluscs of Sicily; the Oligocene fossil molluscs of northern Germany; the Jurassic to Recent molluscs of Chile, and marine molluscs from around the world. Philippi was also an instrumental contributor to both the Zeitschrift für Malakozoologie and the second edition of the Systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet, and he founded the Abbildungen und Beschreibungen neuer oder wenig gekannter Conchylien”.

Rudolph Amandus Philippi (known in Chile as Rodulfo Amando Philippi), was one of the longest-lived and most prolific malacologists of the 19th century, as his scientific work began in Germany in the 1830s and continued unabated until his death in Chile in 1904. Philippi contributed significantly to malacology: he described over 2,500 new taxa of Recent and fossil molluscs from around the world (2,528 species, 40 genera and three families), particularly from Italy and Chile, and discussed numerous taxa described by other authors. Philippi initially published primarily on Recent and fossil molluscs from Europe in the 1830s, then expanded to marine molluscs from around the world by the 1840s. In 1851, Philippi escaped the German Revolution by emigrating to Chile, where in 1853 he became the director of what is now the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural (Santiago) and a professor at the Universidad de Chile. Philippi’s contributions to malacology after his move to Chile were primarily on the fossil molluscs of Chile. Philippi also made significant contributions to the systematics of numerous other animal taxa as well as in botany. In a companion paper (Kabat & Coan, 2017), we provide an analysis of Philippi’s life and scientific contributions. This paper catalogs Philippi’s malacological publications and taxa”.

The authors undoubtedly have made a grand effort to bring Philippi to life, both in uncovering some unknown or obscure aspects about his life, and by bringing together a insightful review of his malacological legacy.

Coan, E.V. & Kabat, A.R., 2017. The Malacological Contributions of Rudolph Amandus Philippi (1808–1904). – Malacologia, 60(1–2):31-322.
Kabat, A.R. & Coan, E.V., 2017. The Life and Work of Rudolph Amandus Philippi (1808–1904). – Malacologia, 60(1–2):1-30.