A paper just published by Salvador provides interesting information on some distribution ranges based on a historical collection. The abstract reads “The malacological collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (NMNZ), despite naturally focusing on New Zealand species, also includes a variety of specimens from South America. Examination of this material revealed new distributional data for several species. All Brazilian, Uruguayan and Argentinian terrestrial gastropods from the NMNZ collection were examined and re-identified (no material from Paraguay was found). The information gathered was compiled and is presented in this article, and may contain significant data for malacologists working with the region’s fauna. In summary, 99 species are reported, 13 of which represent new records and meaningful increments in geographical distribution, either extending their known range or filling distributional gaps. Moreover, the NMNZ collection houses the type material of six species from Brazil and Argentina described by the New Zealand malacologist Henry Suter (1841–1918) in 1900“.
The material consists of species from 17 families. “The following 13 species have significant increments in their distribution (range extension or filling of distributional ‘gaps’): Auris chrysostoma, Auris illheocola, Auris melanostoma and Thaumastus nehringi (Bulimulidae [Thaumastus belongs to the Megaspiridae]); Callionepion iheringi (Megaspiridae); Cyclodontina fusiformis, Moricandia willi and Spixia martensii (Odontostomidae); Simpulopsis decussata (Simpulopsidae); Neobeliscus calcarius (Achatinidae); Happia iheringi (Scolodontidae); Epiphragmophora hieronymi (Epiphragmophoridae); and Solaropsis punctatus (Pleurodontidae) [sic, Solaropsidae]“. The author rightly draws attention to the fact that even historical collections – although sometimes lacking from precise data – can contribute to our knowledge of distribution of species. This being said, however, it also points to the insufficient inventories being made on a detailed scale in many of the Neotropical countries which leads to insufficient insights in the distribution of many species.
Salvador, R.B., 2019. Brazilian, Uruguayan and Argentinian terrestrial gastropods in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. – Tuhinga, 30: 82-98.
A new paper just appeared by Silva et al. “New records for Helicina schereri Baker, 1913, are reported. It was a species previously restricted to the states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas and Tocantins in Northeastern Brazil, and State of Santa Catarina, much further south. The new occurrences reported herein fill distribution gaps and also significantly expand the range of the species ca. 970 km westwards. The new records are from the following locations: Bahia State (Ituaçu and Itaquara municipalities) in Northeast Brazil; Mato Grosso do Sul State (Bonito Municipality) in the Midwest; and Minas Gerais (Lagoa Santa municipality) in the Southeast”.
Silva, F. dos Santos et al., 2019. New records of Helicina schereri (Gastropoda: Helicinidae) from the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. – Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 59: e20195903 (3 pp.).
A short paper by Fontanelle et al. just appeared on one of the Brazilian species of this genus. “The taxonomical status of Megalobulimus toriii Morretes, 1937 from southeastern Brazil is reassessed herein. A large series of shells of M. toriii and M. yporanganus (Ihering & Pilsbry, 1901) were analysed for conchological features and measured for a principal component analysis. The material included recent shells and sub-fossil specimens (no living specimens or ethanol-preserved specimens could be procured). Megalobulimus toriii falls within the spectrum of morphological variation of M. yporanganus and is thus considered its synonym. Megalobulimus yporanganus was originally described from the Ribeira Valley in São Paulo state and its present distribution includes only other localities in this valley. However, the species is also known from Holocene archaeological contexts (shell mounds) and karst outcrops, with the oldest records dating from circa 10,800–9,200 YBP. Its past distribution extended southwards to the coast of Santa Catarina state”.
Fontanelle, J.H. et al., 2019. Taxonomic reassessment of Megalobulimus toriii (Gastropoda, Strophocheilidae). – Journal of Conchology, 43 (3): 313-320.
Several snake species are known to prey on molluscs, and in the Neotropics some examples are already known; e.g., in the recent book on Belizan land snails by Dourson et al. pictures are given of Sibon species consuming a Drymaeus.
By serendipity I found a paper by Sazima & Muscat (2016) on Dipsas snakes in Brazil, which are known to feed on snails and slugs. The first author had reported in the past about the challenges that these molluscs offer to their predator. Snails must be removed from their shell and slugs release plenty of mucus, making snail handling time-consuming and handling slugs poses the risk of sticking to the substratum. Most observations are based on laboratory conditions, but this paper describes how newly hatched snakes are feeding on snails under natural conditions.
The (unwilling) victims in these cases were respectively Bulimulus tenuissimus (d’Orbigny, 1835) and Helicina angulata G.B. Sowerby, 1873. Both observations were made in Sao Paulo state in different forests.
Sazima, I. & Muscat, E., 2016. Shelled baby food: Newly hatched goo‐eating snakes of the genus Dipsas (Squamata: Dipsadidae) prey on snails in nature. – Herpetologia Brasileira, 5 (3): 63-64.
Almeida Guimaraes et al. have studied a sample of fossil freshwater gastropods from northwestern Brazil. Their abstract “This paper deals with the record of gastropods of the family Cochliopidae, genus Tryonia, from the Mio-Pliocene Solimões Formation, from the borehole 1AS-34-AM drilled in the upper Jutaí River, Amazonas State, Brazil. We report four species, including Tryonia scalarioides scalarioides, Tryonia cf. T. nuttalli, besides of a new species and other kept in open nomenclature”.
The new species described is Tryonia globosa and the holotype is in the Paleontological Section of the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG 2357-I/1).
de Almeida Guimaraes, L.I. et al., 2018. New records of Tryonia (Gastropoda, Cochliopidae) from the Mio-Pliocene Solimoes Formation (State of Amazonas), Brazil. – Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia, 21 (3):255-264
Luiz Simone just described new Diplommatinid taxa from Brazil. There is no abstract, but the introduction mentions “The present paper describes new species found in caves from Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mid-West Brazilian region. The material is comprised of minute, dry shells, in which analysis shows the necessity of describing two new species and a new genus, suggestively attributed to the terrestrial caenogastropod family Diplommatinidae”.
It is interesting that these snails were discovered in caves, which are generally known to often have a peculiar fauna. Undoubtedly we will have more new taxa when other caves in Brazil are being explored.
Simone, L.R.L., 2019. The new genus Habeastrum, with two new species (Gastropoda, Diplommatinidae) in Mato Grosso do Sul caves, Brazil. – Zootaxa, 4543: 287-290.
Freshly pressed: a paper by Silva et al. on Brazilian Helicina. Their abstract reads as follows “New records for Helicina schereri Baker, 1913, are reported. It was a species previously restricted to the states of Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas and Tocantins in Northeastern Brazil, and State of Santa Catarina, much further south. The new occurrences reported herein fill distribution gaps and also significantly expand the range of the species ca. 970 km westwards. The new records are from the following locations: Bahia State (Ituaçu and Itaquara municipalities) in Northeast Brazil; Mato Grosso do Sul State (Bonito Municipality) in the Midwest; and Minas Gerais (Lagoa Santa municipality) in the Southeast”.
Silva, F.S. et al., 2019. New records of Helicina schereri (Gastropoda: Helicinidae) from the states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, and Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. – Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 59: e20195903 (4 pp.).