Tag Archives: bostryx

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!


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

New records of Chilean snails

Based on a small collection already made in 1982, Araya et al. have just published a paper on the snail fauna near Antofagasta.

New records for Bostryx holostoma (Pfeiffer, 1846), Pupoides minimus (Philippi, 1860), Stephacharopa calderaensis Miquel & Araya, 2013 and an unidentified charopid species are presented on the basis of specimens collected near the city of Antofagasta, in northern Chile. This is the first record for S. calderaensis after its description, extending its known distribution about 350 km northwards. Details on the protoconch of B. holostoma are presented for the first time, and this species extends its distributional range 145 km southwards. The microhabitat of these species in litho-refugia may explain the presence of these minute terrestrial mollusks in hyper arid northern Chile, further highlighting the need of additional studies of this neglected fauna”.

Especially the protoconch structure of Bostryx holostoma is interesting, as this reveals a spiral structure which is not present in other Chilean Bostryx species. As unpublished DNA results of species from this genus from different countries reveal, this genus may well be polyphyletic.

Araya, J.F. et al., 2017. New records of terrestrial mollusks (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora) from Antofagasta, northern Chile. – Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 88: 769-772.

More on Argentinian Bostryx

María José Miranda has recently published a new study on several Bostryx species from central western Argentina. As always, this is a thorough paper with lots of anatomical data.


The abstract reads: “The genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847 is endemic to South America, extending from Ecuador to Chile and Argentina. The southernmost Argentinian species of the genus that inhabit San Luis, San Juan and Mendoza provinces, specially the pre-Andes, Andes and Sierras Pampeanas mountain ranges, were examined. This is the first time the anatomy of Bostryx pastorei (Holmberg, 1912), Bostryx reedi (Parodiz, 1947) and Bostryx strobeli (Parodiz, 1956) has been described. Bostryx cordillerae (Strobel, 1874) is re-described regarding shell and anatomy due to new morphological data. The main differences among the species examined are based on shell characters. The distribution of Bostryx mendozanus (Strobel, 1874) and Bostryx cuyanus (Pfeiffer, 1867), other species found in this region, was also discussed”.

As she cited my publication about the subfamily Bostrycinae (Breure, 2012), I feel entitled to correct a possible misinterpretation. From her text it gives the impression that I have a very restricted view of this subfamily, leaving out all species not listed in my 2012 paper. The contrary is true. Page 3 of my paper explicitly stated that the list presented is incomplete, and further research should show which other species belong to this monophyletic clade. As the shell shape may be very misleading, which is corroborated in Miranda’s paper, I invited further research using anatomical and molecular data. Miranda’s paper is a welcome contribution to this end, although she has not presented phylogenetic data which could supplement the available data in GenBank. Hence there is room for further additions…

Breure, A.S.H., 2012. The status of the genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847, with description of a new subfamily (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). – ZooKeys 216: 1-3.
Miranda, M.J., 2015. The genus Bosoryx in central western Argentina: anatomical and distributional description of four of its southernmost species (Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). – Iheringia, Zoologia 105: 484–498.

Chilean bulimulids

Just published in a not-so-common journal for a taxonomical paper: Juan Francisco Araya’s new paper on Bulimulidae from the Atacama region in Chile. This desert-like environment is only seemingly unfavorable for snails and is little researched so far.


The abstract reads: “The bulimulid genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847 is the most species-rich genus of land snails found in Chile, with the majority of its species found only in the northern part of the country, usually in arid coastal zones. This genus has been sparsely studied in Chile and there is little information on their distribution, diversity or ecology. Here, for the first time, a formal analysis of the diversity of bulimulids in the Region de Atacama, northern Chile, is reported. Of the seventeen species recorded for the area, most of themwere efectively found in the field collections and one record was based on literature. Five taxa are described as new: Bostryx ancavilorum sp. nov., Bostryx breurei sp. nov., Bostryx calderaensis sp. nov., Bostryx ireneae sp. nov. and Bostryx valdovinosi sp. nov., and the known geographic distribution of seven species is extended. Results reveal that the Region de Atacama is the richest region in terrestrial snails in Chile, after the Juan Fernandez Archipelago. All of the terrestrial molluscan species occurring in the area are endemic to Chile, most of them with restricted geographic distributions along the coastal zones, and none of them are currently protected by law. Further sampling in northern Chile will probably reveal more snail species to be discovered and described”. The study of Araya is thus a welcome additional to our knowledge of the Neotropical malacofauna.

Araya, J.F. (2015). The Bulimulidae (Mollusca: Pulmonata) from the Region de Atacama, northern Chile. – PeerJ 3: e1383. Available at https://peerj.com/articles/1383.pdf

Bostryx tortoranus complex

Maria José Miranda, a young researcher from Argentina, has just published a new paper on some Bostryx species from that country. As it is advance access, the printed version will follow later.

Schermafbeelding 2015-01-14 om 15.39.36

The abstract reads: “Morphology of the shell, radula, jaw, anatomy and sculpture of the inner wall of the reproductive system are described and compared for three species belonging to the Bostryx tortoranus species complex. On the basis of these characters, the following changes are proposed: Bostryx martinezi (Hylton Scott, 1965) is removed from synonymy with Bostryx tortoranus (Doering, 1879) and Bulimulus (Scansicochlea) cicheroi Hylton Scott, 1967 is transferred from synonymy with B. tortoranus to synonymy with B. martinezi. As a result of these changes, the number of species of Bostryx known from Argentina has increased to 19 species. Bostryx tortoranus and B. martinezi are redescribed, also the radula and anatomy of Bostryx rudisculptus (Parodiz, 1956) are described for the first time. The main distinctive morphological characters of the three species are: the structure of the shell’s protoconch and teleoconch, radular morphology, location of the secondary ureter opening, the length of the free oviduct with respect to the vagina and the epiphallus with respect to the penis and the bursa copulatrix duct’s inner wall sculpture. Bostryx martinezi and B. rudisculptus have restricted distributions and are ecologically endemic, whereas B. tortoranus has a wide distribution and is located in different dry ecoregions”.

Miranda, M.J. (2015) Bostryx tortoranus (Doering, 1879) species complex (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Bulimulidae), a review of taxonomy and distribution of endemic species from Argentina. – Journal of Natural History, DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2014.981313 (advance access).

A ‘blanket’ of Bostryx

Edmundo Martinez kindly send me some pictures which show an extraordinary wind accumulation of Bostryx shells on a sandy slope of the coastal range in northern Chile. The hill is 450 meters high and the shells are distributed from the top to the base.



Bostryx accumulation

This phenomenon is so evident, that can even be seen from a plane looking down, as shown on this photo in Google Earth (2014 image, see marker); the simulated ‘flight height’ is 9.6 km.

Schermafbeelding 2015-01-11 om 11.00.08