In 2002 R. Williams published a brief note on a bird, the Scaled Fruiteater Ampeliodes tschudii, which had been observed near Tandayapa in Ecuador with a snail in its beak.
According to information given to him by a third person, only two species of terrestrial snail were living in that area: “the arboreal Plekocheilus sp. and a large terrestrial form in the family Pleurodontidae [now Labyrinthidae]”. Mr. Williams concluded that it must have been the Plekocheilus species that was caught by the bird.
Apart from the obvious errors in the sentence quoted above (both snails are terrestrial, and Plekocheilus species are not truly arboreal), it is clear from the picture provided in the note and copied above that the prey was misidentified. The shell in the bird’s beak look definitely like a Drymaeus species and the most likely candidate is Drymaeus aequatorianus (E.A. Smith, 1877) which is known from that region.
Williams, R.S.R., 2002. Consumption of arboreal snails by Scaled Fruiteater Ampeliodes tschudii. – Cotinga, 18: 100.
Bill Frank was kind enough to send me some photos of Drymaeus dormani (W.G. Binney, 1857) from near Jacksonville, Florida.
His story in text is “…I then drove down to International Golf Parkway (AKA Nine Mile Road) to go into Twelve Mile Swamp and look for Drymaeus dormani. During my last four or five trips there I was unable to find any Drymaeus at all (living or dead). Again today it looked like I was going to get skunked but finally spotted a decent sized live Drymaeus on a palm frond about ten feet above the ground. I tried getting it with my rake but there was no hope. I went back to the car and got my twelve foot long net and scooped it out of the tree. Ever since the last hurricane hit, which devastated Twelve Mile Swamp, Drymaeus are nearly impossible to find there. After the hurricane they cut the palm/palmetto way back from the road and since that time have periodically come back to make sure they stay trimmed back. I’m sure that there are plenty of Drymaeus in the swamp away from the road but I’m not brave enough to look just wearing shorts and tennis shoes knowing that there are venomous snakes. It’s dangerous enough just walking along the road looking for snails with cars speeding by just a few feet away – never mind the snakes that come out of the swamp to lay in the swale. Ever since I stepped on a Pygmy Rattlesnake there a few years back I’m a lot more careful than I formerly was.
Today’s Drymaeus is a real basket case having a pitiful looking shell and a lost eyestalk which appears to be regenerating. A real veteran”.
Another photo of Drymaeus elongatus (Röding, 1798) from Curacao. Thanks to the group of explorers that almost weekly visit a part of the island, regularly a snail (usually in dormancy like this one) turns up in the photo reports. This picture was made by Fred Chumaceiro during a visit to Rooi Katoen.
Just published: a paper on Peruvian Drymaeus species with description of a new species by Mogollón & Breure.
The abstract reads: “Critical remarks are made on Drymaeus species, reported from Peru in a study on land snails from National Parks at the eastern side of the Andes. Four of these species (Drymaeus multilineatus, D. coniformis, D. glaucostomus, all known from Venezuela or Central America, and D. geometricus, known from Colombia) appear to be misidentified as Peruvian species, which thus may lead to incorrect biogeographical interpretations. Correct identifications are given for all the disputed Drymaeus species. Bulimulus (Bulimulus) inconspicuus F. Haas, 1949, is now transferred to Drymaeus (Mesembrinus). Additionaly, a new species, Drymaeus (Drymaeus) verecundus Breure & Mogollón, is described”.
The new species was found near Iquitos in NE Peru, and the type material has been deposited in the Brussels and Leiden museums.
Mogollón, V. & Breure, A.S.H., 2019. Notes on Drymaeus species from Peru (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bulimulidae), and description of a new species. – Basteria, 83: 13-18.
Recently published, Simone & Do Amaral studied snails collected on islands off the Brazilian coast and discovered new species.
Their abstracts is as follows: “Three new species of Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Pulmonata) are described, each one endemic to a different island off the São Paulo coast, showing a high degree of endemicity of these islands in terrestrial malacofauna. Drymaeus castilhensis occurs on Castilho Island, it is mainly characterised by the strong axial dark spots in the shell or in being totally pale beige, penis elongated, lacking any inner chambers or glands, and double ducts of albumen gland. Drymaeus micropyrus occurs on Queimada Pequena Island, it is mainly characterised by greenish-cream shell, with narrow axial spots, and single duct of albumen gland. Bulimulus sula is from Alcatrazes Island, its main features include a relatively cylindrical, featureless shell, bilobed penis and, mainly and remarkably, a genital appendix that looks like a small accessory penis. These three species are described and compared with similar species, and accounts on their biogeography”.
The two species of Drymaeus, if presented as shells only and without locality data, are so similar that would have doubted them to be two different taxa. But the anatomical differences evidently show that cannot be conspecific. Also the Bulimulus species is anatomically peculiar with the reported “small accessory penis”.
Simone, L.R.L. & Amaral, V.S. do, 2018. Insular life: new endemic species from São Paulo oceanic islands, Brazil (Pulmonata, Bulimulidae), as example of endemicity. – Journal of Conchology, 43(2): 167-187.
This photo was part of a series made at Curacao by the ‘speurneuzen’ group, who weekly explore a different part of the island. These snails (Drymaeus elongatus) were pictured in the Christoffelpark at wayaka trees. Photo courtesy by Fred Chumaceiro.
The group ‘Speurneuzen’ makes nearly every week a hike on the Island of Curaçao, usually to look for cultural-historical objects, but always to enjoy nature. This week they followed a new trail made by ‘Uniek Curaçao’ from Fort Kloof to Ascuncion. From their photo report I show a small batch of Drymaeus elongatus on a Wayaca tree.
The picture was made by Fred Chumaceiro.