Tag Archives: cuba

Three short papers on Cuban land snails

While checking the site of the journal Poeyana, I found three short papers published last year: an area inventory (Franke & Fernandez), and two papers of Cerionidae (Suarez & Hernandez respectively de Armas).

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Abstract: Land snails of the Cerro de Yaguajay, Banes, Holguin. This paper provides information on the land snails of Cerro de Yaguajay, Banes. We account 22 species included in three orders and 17 families. The more represented families were Cepolidae and Helicinidae with five and four species respectively. The endemism was 84% and four threatened species were registered: Emoda blanesi, Eutrochatella (Microviana) spinopoma, Idiostemma alfredoi and Polymita muscarum. The 50% of the species inhabit at ground level, between leaf litter and rocks. The results provided data about the values of Cerro de Yaguajay as a regional site for conservation of land snails“.

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Abstract: Radula teratology of Cerion politum maisianum (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae). A case of teratology is reported in the radula of a specimen of Cerion politum maisianum, an endemic mollusc species from Punta de Maisí, Guantánamo. The photograph of the dental cusps of a whole row of radular teeth taken at 400x magnification is shown, where the malformation is observed“.

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Abstract: Correction to the original spelling of Cerion milerae Suárez, 2018 (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae). It is demonstrated that the original spelling of Cerion milerae Suárez, 2018, is incorrect, because it was dedicate to a man, not to a woman, and for this reason it is corrected as Cerion milerai Suárez, 2018, nomen emended, in accordance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature in effect. A map with the distribution of this species is also given“.

Armas, L.F. de, 2019. Corrección a la grafía original de Cerion milerae Suárez, 2018 (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae). – Poeyana 508: 44-45.
Franke, S. & Fernández V., A., 2019. 
Moluscos terrestres del cerro de Yaguajay, Banes, Holguín. – Poeyana 509: 14-17.
Suárez T., A. & Hernández C., I., 2019. 
Teratología en rádula de Cerion politum maisianum (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae). – Poeyana 508: 42-43.

Cuban Red List

It had escaped my attention, but already in 2016 a Red List of terrestrial invertebrates for Cuba was published. It deals with Mollusca, Insecta and Arachnida.

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The chapter on molluscs contains species of Cerionidae, Annulariidae, Cepolidae, Helicinidae, Urocoptidae, Orthalicidae, and Pleurodontidae. In total 88 (sub)species are listed and assessed according to the IUCN criteria. This < 10% of the species known from the island.

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A very useful source of information and a good basis for further research.

Hidalgo-Gato González, M.M. et al., 2016. Libro Rojo de invetrebrados terrestres de Cuba. – Editorial Academia, La Habana, 241 pp. Link

Fossils from Isla de la Juventud

Aranda et al. published a study on fossil land species from Cuba. Their abstract is as follows: “The fossil record of Isla de la Juventud, the second largest island in the Cuban archipelago, is very limited in the number of taxa and localities so far studied but can be key to further understand the biogeographical history and extinction of the fauna in the region. Here, we report the faunal assemblages of two recently discovered Quaternary deposits containing numerous vertebrates and land snails in northern Isla de la Juventud. The first locality, a marble breccia on the coast of Punta Bibijagua, contained remains of an extinct rodent and a sloth. The second locality, a dissolution fissure filled with fossil-bearing sediment in a marble quarry in Sierra de Casas, contained a rich assemblage of land snails and vertebrates. Nineteen species, 14 genera and nine families of gastropods were identified, of which 11 species and two genera are endemic. The snail fossil assemblage is similar to the community of living gastropods in the locality. Moreover, 12 taxa, four of them extinct, 11 genera from ten families of terrestrial vertebrates were recognized; including the first report of fossils frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, and tortoises from Isla de la Juventud. Because remains at Sierra de Casas were collected ex-situ, any possible stratigraphic relationship among them was lost, but we were able to determine the presence of at least two taphonomic modes that suggest different depositional histories. Furthermore, we found no evidence of extinction or extirpation among land snails in the region, but of the vertebrates’ assemblage two rodents, two sloths and a tortoise went extinct. These five taxa also disappeared in the mainland, suggesting that the extinction was in some cases taxonomic specific across the Cuban Archipelago”.

This appears a solid study on land snails from several families, among others Helicinidae, Annularridae, Urocoptidae, Oleacinidae and Cepolidae. As fossil studies from this island are limited, this is the first report on Quaternary land snails from Isla de la Juventud.

Aranda, E. et al., 2020. New insights on the quaternary fossil record of Isla de la Juventud, Cuba. – Journal of South American Earth Sciences 102: e102656 (16 p.).

Cuban Liguus

More and more attention is being given to conservation issues and duely so as the Neotropical area seems to be understudied in this respect. González Guillén et al. just published a paper on a Cuban Liguus species, with the following abstract: “The Liguus blainianus lineage from western Cuba is presented, with a discussion of its placement as a subspecies of Liguus fasciatus, current and historical range, distribution maps, comments about past and recent field work and it’s hybridization with L. f. archeri. Color images of live animals and their habitat are included. An argument is made for creating a protected area to avoid the extinction of this beautiful and important race of tree snails“.

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After the recent book on Liguus, this is a more detailed discussion of the status of this taxon and its distribution.

González Guillén, A. et al., 2019. Liguus blainianus, an Endangered Lineage of Liguus from the Rosario Range in Western Cuba. – Festivus, 51(4): 265-272.

New book on Cuba

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.

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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.

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”.

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The new taxa introduced are:

[Helicinidae:] Emoda poeyana

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[Annulariidae:] Diplopoma (Subannularia) mucaralense

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Annularisca (Annularella) haylerae

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[Urocoptidae:] Arangia humboldtiana

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Carcinostemma silvai

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[Achatinidae:] Obeliscus (Stenogyra) diegoi

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[Cepolidae:] Coryda thierryi

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Coryda carabelloi

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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.

Land snail holotypes in the IES, Havana

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”.

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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.

New Idiostemma from Cuba

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”.

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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.

New Cuban Cerion

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 paucicostatumCerion 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”.

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Suárez, A., 2018. Especie nueva de Cerion (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae) de Holguín, Cuba. – Novitates Caribaea, 12: 43-48.

Chondropometes from western Cuba

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”.

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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.