Tag Archives: annualriidae

Reviews of Annulariidae

G. Thomas Watters recently had two papers out on Annulariidae. The first one (2014a) is a “preliminary review” of the Lesser Antillean species. The brief abstract reads “The Annulariidae of the Lesser Antilles, including the Virgin Islands, Isla de Vieques, and Isla Culebra, are reviewed. Eleven species are recognized in three genera. With rare exceptions, all occur in the Limestone Caribbees. One species, Parachondria basicarinatus (Pfeiffer, 1855), from St. Croix, may be extinct. All are believed to be related to Puerto Rican taxa.”

The following species are recognised: Chondropoma (Chondropoma) julieni Pfeiffer, 1866; Chondropoma (Chondropoma) pupiforme (Sowerby, 1843); Chondropoma (Chondropoma) rufilabre (Potiez & Michaud, 1838); Parachondria (Parachondria) basicarinatus (Pfeiffer, 1855); Parachondria (Parachondria) lineolatus (Lamarck, 1822); Parachondria (Parachondria) santacruzensis (Pfeiffer, 1855); Diplopoma (Diplopoma) crenulatum (Potiez & Michaud, 1838); Diplopoma (Diplopoma) decussatum (Lamarck, 1822); Diplopoma (Diplopoma) sulculosum (Pfeiffer, 1852).


The second paper (2014b) presents a revision of the Central American taxa of the family. “Twenty annulariid taxa are reviewed from Central America, including three new species and one new genus. One species is regarded as an incertae sedis and two as mislabeled lots of Cuban origin. Many species are highly endemic. Although not speciose, Central America has a high diversity of conchological forms and may represent the ancestral source of annulariids
in general.” A key to the genera is also presented.

The following taxa are recognised c.q. described: Choanopomops largillierti (Pfeiffer, 1846); Halotudora gaigei (Bequaert & Clench, 1931); Halotudora gruneri (Pfeiffer, 1846); Halotudora kuesteri (Pfeiffer, 1852); Gouldipoma chiapasense (Crosse & Fischer, 1877); Gouldipoma sumichrasti (Crosse & Fischer, 1874); Gouldipoma coltrorum new species; Gouldipoma terecostatum (Thompson, 1966); Gouldipoma callipeplum (Solem, 1961); Gouldipoma chrysostiria new species; Gouldipoma thomasi (Solem, 1961); Gouldipoma trochleare (Pfeiffer, 1852); Tudorisca andrewsae (Ancey, 1886); Paradoxipoma new genus; Paradoxipoma enigmaticum new species; Diplopoma osberti (Tristram, 1861); Diplopoma rigidulum (Morelet, 1851); Parachondria cordovanus (Pfeiffer, 1857); Parachondria cordovanus (Pfeiffer, 1857); “Choanopoma” cygni Pilsbry, 1930.


For all of these taxa data are given about type material, synonymy, material seen and distribution, habitat and conservation status, (re-)description, variation, comparison with other taxa, original description (translated), etymology.

These two very thorough papers are new hallmarks for this group of snails.


Watters, G.T., 2014a. A preliminary review of the Annalariidae (Gastropoda: Littorinoidea) of the Lesser Antilles. – The Nautilus 128: 65–90.
Watters, G.T., 2014b. A revision of the Annulariidae of Central America (Gastropoda: Littorinoidea). – Zootaxa 3878: 301–350.


New Annulariidae from Haiti

Some authors make a special effort in trying to match their material to described but never illustrated taxa. This may lead to rediscoveries of species which have been neglected for many years. The recent paper by Watters et al. (2013) provides an excellent example of this, where they studied material from Hispaniola and provide a suite of arguments why Pfeiffer’s Choanopoma? smithianum can be considered a valid taxon; they classify this taxon with the genus Weinlandipoma Bartsch, 1946, and also fixate a neotype from modern material collected at the type locality Haiti, Dept. du Sud, Citadelle de Platons (figs 1-4).

Two additional new species are also described from this material:
Weinlandipoma auduboni, figs 5-8, type locality: Haiti, Dept. du Sud, near Morne Cavalier (holotype UF 451538);
Weinlandipoma macayaense, figs 9-12, type locality: same as above (UF 451540).

The three species are partly sympatric, but also a variable fourth species occurs in the study area and calls for more research to clarify the situation.

Watters, G.T., J. Grego, J. Steffek, 2013. Rediscovery of Choanopoma? smithianum Pfeiffer, 1866 (Annulariidae) from Haiti and designation of a neotype, with the description of two new species of Weinlandipoma Bartsch, 1946. – The Nautilus 127: 78-84.

Dangling Jamaican snail

Richard Goldberg posted an interesting observation on his Facebook page; see his video here: http://on.fb.me/Yf3LC5

He wrote “One of the truly bizarre behaviors of Annulariid snails is hanging by a single silken-like thread, presumably as a way to protect itself while aestivating. It was once thought that these snails were trapped by a silken thread from a spider, but it was concluded from further observations that it was in fact the snail that created the thread. From my own observations made over the past few years in Jamaica, I found that this behavior may in fact be an opportunity for the snail to expand its shell while being removed from the substrate [and predators] that would impinged its growth. The snail in the first clip was actually adding to its shell while I shot the footage. I shot the three clips in the compilation at night in December at two locations. The species here is Parachondria (Parachondrops) sauliae (Sowerby I, 1843), a 10 to 12mm species known only from the central limestone forests of the island. I have observed at least 6 other species of Jamaican Annularids doing the same thing, all at night time.”.

In the thread on his page, Tom Watters remarked “What is interesting (to me at least) is that annulariids from Curacao also suspend themselves. The difference is that the Curacao species use numerous short threads rather than one long one. A deeply rooted ancestral trait?”.
Interesting and food for thought. Of course, more observations would be needed for this hypothesis to be tested.

Hispaniolan Annulariidae

Recently a new paper of Watters (2012) was published on Annulariidae from the island of Hispaniola. The abstract is copied below:

Eleven new taxa of Hispaniolan Annulariidae are described: Abbottella (Abbottella) urbana new species [Fig. 1-3],  Chondropoma (Chondropoma) crystallinum new species, Chondropoma (Chondropoma) duffyhooksorum new species, Chondropoma (Chondropoma) vanattae polychroma new subspecies [Fig. 18-19], Chondropoma (Wetmorepoma)  morsecodex new species [Fig. 22-23], Parachondria (Parachondria) gettlemani new species, Articulipoma rhodei new species [Fig. 29-30], Chondropomium blaineorum new species, Chondropomium lynx new species [Fig. 39-40], Chondropomium eusarcum saonaense new subspecies, and Licina bartschi new species. Based on new material, Chondropoma (Chondropoma) manielense montivagum Bartsch, 1946, is synonymized with the nominal subspecies Chondropoma (Chondropoma) manielense manielense Bartsch, 1946 and Chondropoma (Chondropoma) quisquense sculptior Bartsch, 1946 is synonymized with the nominal subspecies Chondropoma (Chondropoma) quisquense quisquense Bartsch, 1946. Chondropoma (Chondropomium) vermiculatum sensu lato Bartsch, 1946 is moved to Crossepoma based on opercular features. The type locality of Chondropoma (Chondropomium) vermiculatum sallei Bartsch, 1946 is restricted to Cabral, Barahona Province, Dominican Republic. The type locality of Choanopoma solutum Pfeiffer, 1852 is restricted to the southern edge of Los Haitises Mountains, N of Majagual, ca. 12 km NW of Sabana Grande de Boya??, Monte Plata Province, Dominican Republic. The type locality of Chondropoma loweanum Pfeiffer, 1852 is restricted to Loma del Aguacate, Sierra Mart??n Grac??a, Barahona Province, Dominican Republic. Distributional and habitat notes are given for additional species.

Some selected pictures of the new taxa described are here reproduced.

Watters, G.T., 2012. Hispaniolan Annulariidae (Gastropoda), primarily from the Barahona Peninsula: new taxa and notes. – The Nautilus 126: 1-14. 


Photo of the day (119): Tudora

These are some photographs that I received through Gerard van Buurt (Willemstad), and which show some living Tudora rupis Baker, 1924 on cacti near San Pedro, Cura??ao. This species is mainly found as dead shells, thus it is nice to see these snails in hibernation. The sand attached on the shells indicate that the animals have been active on the sandy ground below.

The pictures were taken by Carel P. de Haseth and his contribution is gladly acknowledged.



Dangling snails – an update

Nearly two years ago (www.ashbreure.nl / Snailblog 7 and 11 May 2009), I published some observations on dangling snails. This week, Mike Rutherford from the University of West Indies at Trinidad, draw my attention to some early papers on this topic. R.J.L. Guppy (1866) seems to earn the credits for the first publication about this phenomenon, when he described his Adamsiella aripensis. Tryon was the first to publish a figure, in his Monograph of American molluscs (1868), depicting a Chondropoma dentata Say, 1825 dangling on a leaf. 


All the known occurrences are related to Annulariidae and Cyclophoridae.

Many thanks Mike for helping me with the literature search!

Guppy, R.J.L., 1866. On the terrestrial and fluviatile Mollusca of Trinidad. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (3) 17: 42-56.

Tryon, G.W., 1868. Monograph of the terrestrial Mollusca of the United States (concluded). American Journal of Conchology 4: 5-22.

Photo of the day (114): Choanopoma

In a new journal that appears on-line since last year, Folia conchyliologica, I found a paper by C. Audibert on a trip to Mexico, Yucat??n where he highlighted one species: Chaonopoma (Choanopomops) largillierti (Pfeiffer, 1846).


I reproduce here part of Audibert’s figures. His full article may be found in Folio Conchyliogica 5: 4-6. The journal, focussing mainly on European snails, is available on this website: http://cernuelle.com/download.php?lng=fr.

Nomenclatorial forensics and Byzantinism in taxonomy

Harry Lee has just released two contributions on the excellent website of Bill Frank and himself (www.jaxshells.org) about the correct attribution of taxonomic names. What seems like a dispute about futilities is actually a good piece of detective work.

It all started in July 2010 in the Dominican Republic, Barahona Prov., Virgen de San Rafael area, where Alan Gettleman collected a Chondropomium and a Plagioptycha species. Harry identified these species as C. nobile and P. strumosa. However, he took the effort to carefully read the original description and discovered that it wasn’t as simply as thought on first sight.


 Photo: Harry Lee

The story on C. nobile can be found here (www.jaxshells.org/10088.htm). It involved quite some bibliographic researching and interpretation of the ICZN rules to reach the correct taxonomic name.


 Photo: Harry Lee

The authorship of Plagioptycha strumosa also involved forensic bibliographic research and can be found here www.jaxshells.org/0050a.htm. Harry’s assumption may be right that Reeve heard the reading of Pfeiffer’s paper at the meeting of the Zoological Society in London. However, I doubt he was able to immediately catch a vivid image of the shell in his mind by hearing its description being read. I have found, during my recent visit to the NHM collection, multiple instances where material described by Pfeiffer was returned to London accompanied by his handwritten taxon labels and later also used by Reeve. At the same time I have found material that was described by Reeve or Sowerby and that also bears labels in Pfeiffer’s handwriting. 

Although we cannot reconstruct the past as accurately as we would like, it may be a safe bet that during the 19th century there was more contact between malacologists than sometimes assumed, including swaps of material. Would there really have been that much byzantine machinations that we could say: “This clearly explains why Reeve was beaten senseless shortly after exiting a pub in the winter of 1855…..” (Kurt Auffenbach, in litt.)?