Just received the announcement that a new book has been published on the non-marine molluscs of the Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. It is written by Modesto Correoso, a Cuban malacologist who already lives for years in Ecuador. He has privately published the book under the label of Editorial Académica Española, an imprint of International Book Market Service Ltd.
Since the copy I received is clearly for promotional purposes, having many blank pages or the text ‘no copiar’ printed in a large font, I cannot say much about its content. Apart from the introduction and some words on methodology, there are 3 chapters. The first highlights the historical collecting on the island, chapter 2 is on the geography, and the largest chapter is devoted on the land and freshwater species. For each species a description is given and several photos are supplied; habitat and conservation issues are also discussed. The book seems (as far as I can judge due to the many blanks) poor in taxonomic references, nor in mentioning type material. Many photos have been modified by the author from web sources, literature or sometimes have been taken from his personal collection. There is no index on the taxonomic names, nor are the genera or species listed in the contents.
Correoso, M., 2019. Contribución a la malacología pinera. Los Moluscos terrestres y fluviales de Isla de la Juventud (Isla de Pinos), Cuba. Editorial Académica Española, Mauritius, 298 pp. ISBN 9786139465736.
The price is € 82.90 at the publisher. Link here.
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”.
The new taxa introduced are:
[Helicinidae:] Emoda poeyana
[Annulariidae:] Diplopoma (Subannularia) mucaralense
Annularisca (Annularella) haylerae
[Urocoptidae:] Arangia humboldtiana
[Achatinidae:] Obeliscus (Stenogyra) diegoi
[Cepolidae:] Coryda thierryi
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.
More and more institutions are making their holdings of type material available, either through publications or on the web. This is very useful as it greatly helps researchers to find the original material which may be needed for comparison.
Hernández Q. et al. have recently made an addition. “We present the first list of holotypes of terrestrial molluscs housed in the collection of the Institute of Ecology and Systematics, Cuba. The majority of holotype specimens come from collections belonging to Miguel L. Jaume, Oscar L. Alcalde, Alfredo de la Torre and Raúl P. Guitar. The type material of the collection has 66 taxa including species and subspecies. The genera represented in this type collection are Liguus, Farcimen, Cerion, Cryptelasmus, Idiostemma, Cubadamsiella and Opisthosiphon”.
Although it is unfortunate that no pictures of these holotypes are included, which would eliminate the need for (possibly difficult) inquiries, the listing may be applauded as a first step.
Hernández Q., M, et al., 2018. Catalogue of holotypes of terrestrial molluscs (Mollusca, Gastropoda) of the Institute of Ecology and Systematics, Havana, Cuba. – Poeyana, 507: 44-49.
“It is described the new species Idiostemma frankei into the subgenus Maceo Pilsbry & Vanatta 1898, with type locality at Farallones de Moa, on the northeastern region of Holguín province. For diagnosis were used conchological characters, that make it different from the rest of species into this genus because have whorls almost flattened or plane and semitransparent, with fine ribs on surface of shell. Columella with well-developed lamellae on “S” form, ornamented by ribs like cords that crossing on upper part on both side of the wall, give striated appearance”.
The holotype is in the Instituto de Ecologia y Sistemática, CZACC8.1.302.
Fernández, A. & Suárez, A., 2018. New species of Idiostemma Pilsbry & Vanatta, 1898 (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Urocoptidae) from the eastern Cuban region. – Poeyana, 507: 40-43.
Last year another new Cerion species was described from Cuba by Suárez: “Cerion milerae sp. nov. is described from the type locality Punta Bejuquera, Gibara, Holguín province, Cuba. It is compared conchologicaly with Cerion paucicostatum paucicostatum, Cerion paucicostatum harringtoni and Cerion caroli aedilii. Anatomically it is compared with Cerion paucicostatum paucicostatum. With its description the number of species known from Cuba is increased to 148 and to 35 the number of species and subspecies known from Holguín province. An extensive survey in the zone showed that Cerion milerae sp. nov. is microlocalized, associated to Bayhops (Ipomoea pes-caprae), in sandy substrate”.
Suárez, A., 2018. Especie nueva de Cerion (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae) de Holguín, Cuba. – Novitates Caribaea, 12: 43-48.
González-Guillén et al. recently published a paper revising the species of Chondropometes from western Cuba.
Their abstract reads “The named taxa of Chondropometes land snails from western Cuba Annulariidae are reviewed and illustrated. Following a discussion of the taxonomic work to date and the morphology, distribution and ecology of these land snails, the authors make suggestions for future work based upon shell morphological features and geographic isolation of various populations”.
In total there are 71 nominal taxa (excluding synonymies) described which are mainly recognised as subspecies in the literature. Especially C. de la Torre together with P. Bartsch have been prolific writers on this group. The value of this paper is a critical scrutinising of these taxa based on shell morphology and distribution. The authors reduce this huge amount of taxa to 10, divided into two subgenera described by Henderson & Bartsch in 1920.
González-Guillén, A., et al., 2018. The genus Chondropometes (Littorinoidea: Annulariidae) from the western karstic hills of Cuba. – The Festivus, 50 (4): 223-235.
Sometimes one need to consult obscure papers in related disciplines to find some data on predation of molluscs. Recently a paper was published by Madruga (2018), reporting “a multiple-choice feeding-preference experiment was made to test the feeding behaviour of the larvae of Alecton discoidalis Laporte, 1833, a Cuban endemic firefly. It was found that in 60% of cases the larvae preferred to feed on Praticolella griseola (Pfeiffer, 1841), an introduced species of snail, considered a farming pest. Therefore, these lampyrid larvae seem to be a natural predator of this snail, which could be considered as a biological agent for pest control of the snail”.
As this paper was not readily available to me, I searched for it and by serendipity found an older one with additional data (Madruga & Hernández, 2010): “Alecton Laporte, 1833, with four known species is the only firefly genus endemic to Cuba. Alecton discoidalis Laporte, 1833, is its most common species, distributed in the western half of the country. Unfortunately, much of its life history remains unknown, as with the rest of Cuban representatives of the family Lampyridae. Larvae are associated with adults of A. discoidalis through rearing, and observations on larval feeding habits of this species are presented. Thirteen species belonging to seven gastropod families are reported for the first time as prey of A. discoidalis larvae. Our data suggest that these are generalist predators of terrestrial snails. A remarkably close association exists between this lampyrid and operculate species of snails. The later represents the most abundant and diverse group of molluscs in limestone landscapes, where the beetles are commonly found”.
Madruga, O., 2018. Seleccion alimentaria de las larvas de la luciernaga cubana Alecton
discoidalis (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). – Boletin de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa, 62: 321-322.
Madruga, O. & Hernández, M., 2010. Larval Feeding Habits of the Cuban Endemic Firefly Alecton discoidalis Laporte (Coleoptera: Lampyridae). – Psyche (2010): e149879 (5 pp.).