Tag Archives: achatinidae

New Cuban species

A while ago (December 2017) Espinosa et al. published a paper which only now surfaced. Its abstract is extremely short, even not mentioning the names of the new species they described. “A commented and illustrated catalog of 37 land an freshwater mollusks species from Cupeyal del Norte, Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, Guantánamo, Cuba, is presented, 18 of them are new records to the park and 8 are described as new species, and data’s about others land mollusks species of the Park are included”.

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.36.00

The new taxa introduced are:

[Helicinidae:] Emoda poeyana

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.16.49

[Annulariidae:] Diplopoma (Subannularia) mucaralense

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.18.32

Annularisca (Annularella) haylerae

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.24.23

[Urocoptidae:] Arangia humboldtiana

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.29.35

Carcinostemma silvai

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.30.50

[Achatinidae:] Obeliscus (Stenogyra) diegoi

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.32.23

[Cepolidae:] Coryda thierryi

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.33.47

Coryda carabelloi

Schermafbeelding 2019-04-24 om 17.34.57

Espinosa J., Herrera-Uría J. & Ortea J., 2017. Moluscos terrestres y fluviales del Sector Cupeyal del Norte, Parque Nacional Alejandro de Humboldt, Guantánamo, Cuba, con la descripción de nuevas especies. – Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias, 29: 61-110.


Photo of the day (178): Zoniferella

This photo was sent to me by Marijn Roosen, a Dutch student doing field work in Ecuador for an agricultural institute. The exact locality is not known to me, but nevertheless this picture shows a characteristic species: Zoniferella vespera (Jousseaume, 1887).


New Subulinid from Brazil

Freshly pressed, a new genus and species from Brazil. Simone’s abstract reads “Lavajatus moroi is a new genus and species found in cave environment from Santa Quitéria region, Ceará, Brazil. It is mainly characterized by the very elongated shell measuring about 30 mm, the growth is uniform, adult shell of ~28 whorls, and the shell profile is rather straight. The species has an extraordinary capacity of retraction inside the shell, keeping empty from 1/3 to 1/2 of the shell length when retracted. Anatomically, lung lacking developed vessels; ureter entirely tubular; kidney wide, with narrow anterior projection; genital structures mostly located inside anterior half of the haemocoel; lack of jaw, esophagus very narrow; large pair of retractor muscles of buccal mass (m2), with a branch passing through the nerve ring; odontophore lacking horizontal muscle (m6), with cartilages ~3/5 fused with each other; spermoviduct having two regions, being the anterior one normally bearing young specimens; and nerve ring having a large visceral/ subesophageal ganglion. The dissection of the intrauterine young specimens, which normally have a swollen head and a posterior pedal flap, revels some interesting ontogenetic features, such as the extreme elongation of some structures, e.g., the lung and digestive tubes, the repositioning of some haemocoel structures, and the modification of the nerve ring (appearance of the pleural ganglia, fusion and migration towards anterior of the subesophageal ganglia) during the development. Comparison with known subulinines is performed, including accounts on the youth intrauterine development. The new species is almost troglobian, except for the presence of eyes”.

Schermafbeelding 2018-12-22 om 12.54.29

As usual, there are many detailed drawings of the anatomy. The author has a specific, actual etymology for the genus name: “The generic name is a Latinization of the Portuguese words Lava Jato (car wash), an allusion to the Lava-Jato Operation, which designates a conjunct of investigations of Federal Police of Brazil, mostly investigating corruption crimes. The translucency of the shell, revealing the occult inner structures, is an afflatus”. Also the specific epithet is related to this: “The specific epithet is in honor to the judge Sérgio Fernando Moro, professor of criminal law in Federal University of Paraná, who is leading Lava-Jato Operation referred above. This is a demure acknowledge of his effort in remodeling Brazil into a better country”.

Sometimes scientists try to make pinholes in the actual world; this is how far a taxonomist can go….

Simone, L.R.L., 2018. Lavajatus moroi, new cavernicolous Subulininae from Ceará, Brazil (Gastropoda, Eupulmonata, Brazil). – Spixiana, 41 (2): 173-187.


Life history of subulinids

Just published: a paper on the life history of some subulinid species by D’ávila et al. The abstract reads: “In the present study, we aimed to characterize the life history of the land snail Subulina octona integrating information on life- history traits and morphology. We also compared the histology of the free-oviduct and spermoviduct of ovoviviparous and egg-retaining species of subulinids. We considered as ovoviviparous the species in which the complete embryonic development as well as egg hatching occurs inside the parent’s body and, at the end of this process, the parent releases juveniles instead of eggs. We considered as egg-retaining the species in which a great part of the embryonic development takes place inside the parent’s body and the eggs laid contain well-developed embryos. The results showed that the free-oviduct of both ovoviviparous and egg-retaining species shows a histological arrangement that confers greater strength to its walls and is probably related to egg retention. The wall of the spermoviduct is formed by pseudostratified columnar epithelium, with cell apical processes (probably cilia), and by underlying secretory cells. In gravid egg-retaining snails, the eggshells appear in close contact with the secretory cells of the spermoviduct. This fact suggests that these cells play a role in eggshell formation. The present study is the first account for histological features of S. octona, Allopeas gracile and Allopeas micra. The life history of S. octona is a combination of long life-span, early sexual maturity, indeterminate growth and egg reten- tion. Egg retention limits the number of young that can be produced in one reproductive event. However, the reproductive strategy adopted by S. octona, associating egg retention and K-strategism, compensates this cost of retaining eggs, because the reproductive success may be enhanced as a result of the higher survival of juveniles and the possibility of performing sev- eral reproductive events during the year”.

Since there are too many papers on the life history of land snails, this a welcome contribution. Especially since these subulinids are wide-spread, this paper is also of interest to non-Neotropical malacologists.

D’ávila, S. et al., 2018. Life history of Subulina octona (Brugüière) (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Subulinidae) based on four-year laboratory observations and a comparative histological analysis of egg-retaining and ovoviviparous subulinids. – Journal of Natural History 52 (23-24): 1551-1569.

Venezuelan land snails

The following report was found on Facebook, with land snails data from NE Venezuela, a region for which hardly reliable data exist in literature.


foto van Ignacio Agudo.
foto van Ignacio Agudo.
foto van Ignacio Agudo.

Ignacio Agudo aan Moluscos del Caribe/ Moluscos do Caribe/ Caribbean Mollusks


Total of seventeen (17) verified species (thirteen (13) terrestrial — two (2) non-native/ exotic — and four (4) freshwater forms — one non-native/ exotic), found in “xerophytic environments” of the parish until “December 2016”, distributed in fourteen (14) genus and nine (9) families.

Important to highlight that, in addition to the three (3) other specifically native aquatic/ limnic forms, all the thirteen (13) native terrestrial species so far detected in the region “contradictorily” correspond to own forms of environments/ humid forest ecosystems ……….


– Family HELICINIDAE Férussac, 1822
Helicina tamsiana (Pfeiffer, 1850)

– Family NEOCYCLOTIDAE Kobelt & Möllendorff, 1897
Poteria fasciatum (Kobelt & Schwanheim, 1912)

– Family AMPULLARIIDAE Gray, 1824
Pomacea glauca (Linnaeus, 1758)
Marisa cornuarietis (Linnaeus, 1758)

– Family LYMNAEIDAE Rafinesque, 1815
Pseudosuccinea columella (Say, 1817)

– Family PLANORBIDAE Rafinesque, 1815
Drepanotrema lucidum (Pfeiffer, 1839)

– Family ORTHALICIDAE Albers, 1860
Bulimulus cacticolus (Reeve, 1849)
Bulimulus constrictus Pfeiffer, 1841)
Bulimulus krebsianus Pilsbry, 1897
Drymaeus multilineatus (Say, 1825)
Oxystyla abducta (Shuttleworth, 1856)
Oxystyla maracaibensis (Pfeiffer, 1899)
Plekocheilus (Eudolichotis) distortus (Bruguière, 1789)

– Family ODONTOSTOMIDAE Pilsbry & Vanatta, 1898
Biotocus (- Tomigerus) cumingi (Pfeiffer, 1849) [according to Simone, 2006: Biotocus cumingi]

– Family SUBULINIDAE Fischer & Crosse, 1877
Beckianum beckianum (Pfeiffer, 1846)
Subulina octona (Bruguière, 1798)

– Family ACHATINIDAE Swainson, 1840
Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica (Bowdich, 1822)

The adjective ‘native’ which is used here, should be considered with care. E.g., the Subulinid and Achatinid species have been introduced, and also Drymaeus multilineatus has probably been introduced in the past. The list contains thus several species which originate from elsewhere, which is no big surprise as the locality is at the coast.

Apart from some minor errors (Bulimulus and Drymaeus belong to the family Bulimulidae; Oxystyla should be Orthalicus, abducta = obductus), this is information from a country with comparably hardly good information in the malacological literature.

Population structure Megalobulimus

Miranda et al. (2015) published (advanced online) a paper dealing with two Megalobulimus species. Their abstract reads as follows: “Native Megalobulimus paranaguensis was identified on Brazil’s Ilha Porchat promontory, an area that Achatina fulica commonly populates. The population structures of these species were investigated for interactions. Spatial distribution, niche overlap and mark–recapture analysis were conducted. The outer lip of M. paranaguensis and environmental variables were measured.

Miranda f3

Miranda f2

One and two abundance peaks were observed for A. fulica and M. paranaguensis, respectively. Survivorship was higher in A. fulica. Distribution was aggregate for M. paranaguensis, whereas for A. fulica it varied from random to aggregate. Both species aggregate as abundance increases. The lifespan of M. paranaguensis in this location is shorter than its lifespan in a nearby location. Achatina fulica was affected by soil temperature and humidity; M. paranaguensis was influenced by humidity. Niche overlap was random. The results show that M. paranaguensis can keep its
natural activity and abundance in the presence of A. fulica, but environmental degradation impacts M. paranaguensis and should be evaluated.”

As can be seen from the above figures, the observations were made during one year resp. 7 months. The conclusions thus have to be viewed within the context of this limited evidence.

Miranda, M.S., Fontenelle, J.H. & Pecora, I.L. (2014 [2015]). Population structure of a native and an alien species of snail in an urban area of the Atlantic Rainforest. – Journal of Natural History, 49: 19-35.

GAS in Brazil (MSc. thesis)

The Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica) is around in Brazil for more than 30 years. Aquino (2013) has made his Master thesis on this subject within the framework of biology and health policy. Since this kind of theses is often difficult to grasp (no formal publication, unless the author takes the effort to write also a paper summarising the data), it is mentioned here. As an exception, the full text (in Portuguese) is added after the reference.


The abstract reads: “Since it had been introduced in Brazil dating back to the 80s, the Great African Snail Achatina fulica has spread all over the country. Some researchers associate its incredibly good adaptation success to the dermal mucous of this species. With the objective and the aim of better knowing and understanding the dermal mucous of the Great African Snail and also suggesting new forms of taking advantage of it with a view to controlling this invading and exotic snail, this study work carried out the chemical characterization of the shell, of the snail without the shell and of the dermal mucous of the Great African Snail in the State of Alagoas, Brazil, and also evaluated and assessed the scarring/healing action of a solution from the mucous, already confirmed for skin tissue, in corneal ulcers surgically produced in rabbits. The wild snails were kept in a laboratory utilizing a new methodology specially developed for keeping arboreal snails in laboratory, with sensibly improved hygienic conditions, reduction of the time spent for the daily treatment and reduction of animal stress. This methodology has been described in details at the XXII EBRAM in 2011, in Fortaleza, State of Ceará, Brazil, and published in the form of a scientific article under the name “new breeding management for snails (molusca: gastropoda: pulmonata) in plastic boxes (recipients/containers)”. The following analyses were carried out: the mineral composition of the snail without its shell, of the shell and of the mucous; the centesimal composition of the lyophilized mucous and the anti oxidizing capacity evaluated through the seizing activity of the free radical 2,2-diphenyl- 1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH). With regards to the results, the macro and micro minerals composition present in the snail without a shell, in the shell and in the dermal mucous of the A. fulica was determined for 23 nutrients, 5 macro-nutrients (Ca, P, Na, K and Mg) and 18 micro-nutrients (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Si, Sr, V, Zn, Co, Sb and Se). With regards to the centesimal composition, the following data was obtained: dried matter (91.72 ± 1.85), humidity (8.28 ± 0.97), ashes (31.1 ± 0.35), crude protein (49.97 ± 3.21), carbohydrates (8.15 ± 1.43), total calories (242.48 ± 53.23), lipids in 100 g (2.5 ± 0.44), cholesterol (50.2 ± 0.3). The mucous did not show anti oxidizing capacity in any of the analysed samples. For the experiment in vivo, the evolution of the corneal lesions on the 18 rabbits, divided in three groups of 6 animals: the control group, the mucous group and the group treated with the ophthalmic solution Epitegel, was accompanied and monitored by the percentage measurement of scarring/healing of the 36 areas of scarring through 144 macro photographs taken along the experiment at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours. To carry out the experiment, duly approved by the Ethical Committee of UFAL (The Federal University of Alagoas), process no. 010190/2011-85, a scalpel blade to remove the corneal epithelium previously circumscribed by a circular scalpel (punch no. 5) and the anaesthetic protocol utilized comprised 3 steps: tranquilizing with acepromazine (0,05 mg / kgPV/IM), anaesthetizing with cetamine chlorydrate (12mg/IM/kgPV) and local anesthetizing with proxymethacaine chlorydrate 0,5%. For the orientation regarding the ideal choice for mucous concentration for the treatment of the lesions on the experiment in vivo, solutions were tested in the following concentrations: 0.01 mg mL-1, 0.03 mg mL-1, 0.06 mg mL-1 and 0.125 mg mL-1. The cellular viability was verified through the MTT and Tripan Blue methods. No statistical differences were observed between the tested concentrations; therefore, the chosen concentration to be the base for the preparation of the ophthalmic solution was the one that gratifyingly better stimulated the cellular proliferation (0,125 mg mL-1). With regards to the results, there were no statistical differences between the mucous group and the Epitegel; the ophthalmic solution based on the mucous (0,125 mg 25 μL) had a similar performance to the ophthalmic solution Epitegel 10g (Ophthalmological Gel Dexpantenol 50 mg g-1, positive control), one of the best available medicines in the market for the treatment of corneal ulcers/lesions. Nevertheless, both presented some significance regarding the result of the control group, which presented a longer scarring/healing time. With 72 hours, of the 12 lesions of the control group, only 2 (16,66%) were scarred/healed; of the Epitegel group, only 8 (66,66%) were scarred/healed and of the mucous groups, all (100%) were scarred/healed. It has been thus demonstrated the scarring/healing capacity of the A. fulica’s mucous also for the treatment of corneal ulcers and its specific action, furthermore than merely accelerating the recovery of lesions in animals and it also did not produce, in any of them, a single visible scar. It is yet to be exactly known its action mechanism in conjunction with the set of steps of the corneal scarring/healing, especially if it detains a stimulating action over the reproduction of trunk cells, which are responsible for the regeneration of this epithelium”.

Aquino, M. C. (2013): Caracterizaçao química do caracol africano (Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica (Bowdich, 1822) e avaliação dos efeitos do muco cutâneo em úlceras de córnea em coelhos (Oryctolagus cuniculus). MSc. thesis, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, 94 pp.

Aquino 2013