Tag Archives: simpulopsidae

New paper

Faunal overviews are one of the key stones of biodiversity research, and I’m proud to announce that one of such (modest) contributions has been released fresh from the press.


The land snail fauna of several South American countries is very incompletely known despite quite extensive literature. For Bolivia there is only an incomplete and outdated list from 1953, Peru is covered by a name list only (2003), and Ecuador has a catalogue for the mainland Orthalicoidea only (2008). Other countries (Brazil, Chile, Argentina) are covered by recent works from local malacologists, and for some others (Colombia, French Guiana) recently overviews have been published, of which especially the one for French Guiana is also very useful for neighbouring countries like Suriname.

This new paper partly aims to fill that gap for Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru treating the minor families of the Orthalicoidea. Covering the three countries this synopsis summarizes all known species and part of their localities (from literature and some major EU museums). Also one new species is described. The full abstract reads: “A faunal overview is presented of the molluscan families Amphibulimidae, Megaspiridae, Odontostomidae, Orthalicidae, Simpulopsidae in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. These Central Andean countries are known for their biodiverse malacofauna, of which the superfamily Orthalicoidea takes relatively a large share. In this paper the five families containing 103 (sub)species, for which systematic information (original publication, type locality, type depository, summarizing literature) and distributional records are presented. All species are illustrated by photographs of the type material or, if this could not be located, by a reproduction of the original figure.
The following new taxon is introduced: Thaumastus (Thaumastus) sumaqwayqu spec. n. Junior subjective synonyms are established for: Plekocheilus (Sparnotion) Pilsbry, 1944 = Plekocheilus (Eudolichotis) Pilsbry, 1896; Scholvienia (Thomsenia) Strebel, 1910 = Scholvienia Strebel, 1910; Sultana (Trachyorthalicus) Strebel, 1909 = Sultana (Metorthalicus) Pilsbry, 1899; Plekocheilus (Eurytus) conspicuus Pilsbry, 1932 = Thaumastus (Thaumastus) hartwegi (Pfeiffer in Philippi, 1846); Zebra gruneri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus maracaibensis (Pfeiffer, 1856); Scholvienia jaspidea minor Strebel, 1910 = Scholvienia alutacea (Reeve, 1850); Bulimus bifasciatus unicolor Philippi 1869 = Scholvienia brephoides (d’Orbigny, 1835). A new status is given to Plekocheilus mcgintyi ‘Pilsbry’ H.B. Baker, 1963 (subspecies of Bulinus piperitus Sowerby I, 1837); Strophocheilus superstriatus var. prodeflexus Pilsbry, 1895 (subspecies of Bulinus piperitus Sowerby I, 1837); Thaumastus (Quechua) salteri maximus Weyrauch, 1967 (subspecies of Thaumastus (Quechua) olmosensis Zilch, 1954); Pseudoglandina agitata Weyrauch, 1967 (nomen inquirendum). New combinations are: Clathrorthalicus corydon (Crosse, 1869), and Cyclodontina chuquisacana (Marshall, 1930). Lectotypes are now designated for Bulimus incisus Hupé, 1857 and Bulinus piperitus Sowerby I, 1837”.


Breure, A.S.H. & Mogollón, V., 2016. Synopsis of Central Andean Orthalicoid land snails (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora), excluding Bulimulidae. — ZooKeys 588: 1–199. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.588.7906 (link via Publications)

New Brazilian species (1)

Two papers were just published by Simone and Salvador, of which today the one about species from Minas Gerais. As usual these authors are keen to show the need for conservation of habitats which may house endemic or new species.


“A sample of land snails was recently collected in a fragment of Atlantic rainforest, in the vicinities of the city of Nanuque (north of Minas Gerais state, Brazil), totaling 15 species. The following new species are herein described: Leiostracus carnavalescus n. sp. and Rhinus botocudus n. sp. (Bulimulidae), and Obeliscus boitata n. sp. (Subulinidae), the first two accompanied by anatomical descriptions. Moreover, the geographical ranges of some species are extended to Minas Gerais: Auris bilabiata, Bahiensis cf. bahiensis, Cyclopomops moricandi, Dysopeas muibum, Helicina boettgeri, Helicina variabilis, Prohappia besckei, and Rectartemon piquetensis. The discovery of new species in such a small forest fragment is a clear reminder of how little the Brazilian terrestrial snail fauna is known. It also points to the fact that these few remaining forest fragments may house many new and possibly endemic species and should, therefore, be properly preserved”.


It may be noted that this paper was available on ResearchGate on the 19th April 2016, while the header states as publication date “30.IV.2016”.

Simone, L.R.L. & Salvador, R.B., 2016. Taxonomical study on a sample of land snails from Nanuque (Minas Gerais, Brazil), with descriptions of three new species. – Stuttgart Beiträge our Naturkunde A, Neue Serie 9: 9–30.

New species from Brazil

Thanks to the continuous effort of some Brazilian colleagues, the malacofauna of that country is enriched last year with several new taxa. I here briefly report on two contributions.

Fontanella et al. reported on shell mounds in Santa Catarina which remained from ancient times when Paleoamericans used shells to make ornaments and tools, or used them as a food source. One of the species discovered during archeological work on remains in Jaguaruna municipality is a new species of Megalobulimus, M. jaguarunensis.

Fontenelle 2014

Another paper describing a new species of Leiostracus was published by Salvador & Cavallari, based on a single shell in the Senckenberg Museum Frankfurt, without precise habitat and locality data.


Fontenelle J.H., Cavallari D.C. & Simone L.R.L. (2014) A new species of Megalobulimus (Gastropoda, Strophocheilidae) from Brazilian shell mounds. – Strombus 21: 30–37.
Salvador, R.B. & Cavallari, D.C. (2014) A new species of Leiostracus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Orthalicoidea) from Espirito Santo, Brazil. – Iheringia, Zoologia 104: 364–366.

Sequel to an end

Today the final part of the sequel on types of Orthalicoidea in the Natural History Museum, London was published. When I prepared my SYNTHESYS application back in 2010 for this project, one of the elements was the sentence “Good documentation of type material is crucial to establish a stable taxonomy”. Five years later and a total of 616 pages further down the line, type material of 592 taxa in this museum has been documented.

Schermafbeelding 2015-01-13 om 08.22.32

I realized that submitting such an application in 2014 during the last round of SYNTHESYS wouldn’t have been successful, after having read the answer of one of its committees on a similar proposal. “The Selection Panel detected curatorial work and pure documentation as the main purposes of your visit and therefore your application was considered a lower priority when compared to more hypothesis-driven research proposals”. Apparently this Committee has forgotten what the core activity of a natural history museum should be, and lost its way in their eagerness to pleasure policy makers who have no clue about systematics anyway. With such colleagues (and management!), the decline of taxonomy seems to be inevitable and institutions are at risk. Every new affiliation of a natural history museum with a university is one battle lost.
Nevertheless, some of you do a decent job of ‘luctor et emergo’, and hopefully we can continue…
Anyhow, for those who are still interested in the subject, you may find the paper following this link: “Annotated type catalogue of the Megaspiridae, Orthalicidae, and Simpulopsidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London”  ZooKeys 470: 17-143, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.470.8548.

Santa Catarina new records

Agudo et al. (2014) published nine new records for the fauna of the State Santa Catarina in Brazil.

The following taxa are concerned:
Family Helicinidae
Helicina schereri F. Baker, 1913
Family Assimineidae
Assiminea sp.
Family Subulinidae
Lamellaxis clavulinus (Potiez & Michaud, 1838)
Lamellaxis (Leptopeas) cf. mizius Marcus & Marcus, 1968
Family Bulimulidae [Amphibulimidae]
Plekocheilus (Eurytus) sp. [the specimen shown is mentioned as P. aff. rhodocheilus (Reeve, 1849) in my previous post]
Rhinus cf. longisetus (Moricand, 1846)
Family Amphibulimidae [both Rhinus and Simpulopsis are now placed in the Simpulopsidae sensu Breure & Romero, 2012]
Simpulopsis cf. ovata (Sowerby, 1822)
Family Megalobulimidae
Megalobulimus klappenbachi Leme, 1964
Family Charopidae
Zilchogyra cleliae Weyrauch, 1965

Agudo ea 2014f7

AGUDO-PADRÓN, A.I.; LUZ, J.S.; FUNEZ, L.A.; ZERMIANI, A.E., 2014. Nine new records to inventory of continental mollusc species from Santa Catarina State, Central Southern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology Sciences, 1(1): 15-20. Available at: http://revista.rebibio.net/v1n1/3543-4376-01-03.html

Serra da Capivara

Earlier in 2013 Simone & Casati published a paper on a series of shells from a relatively unknown region in Brazil, the Serra da Capivara.

The abstract is: “Five new species and one new genus are described from the Serra da Capivara, Piauí, Brazil, a region of semi-dry, Caatinga environment. The described taxa are: Odontostomidae: 1) Clinispira insolita, n. gen. n. sp., possessing strange spire inclination and aperture approaching to the shell apex, it looks closely related to Anostoma, Tomigerus and Biotocus; 2) Cyclodontina capivara n. sp., with well-developed axial ribs and 6 teeth at peristome; 3) Anctus prolatus n. sp., very elongated, with aperture lacking teeth; Simpulopsidae: 4) Rhinus gilbertus n. sp., somewhat elongated and relatively well-sculptured; Streptaxidae: 5) Streptartemon molaris n. sp., possessing a very large basalis tooth at peristome. Two subulinids are also reported from the region: 6) Beckianum beckianum (Pfeiffer, 1846), a population with peculiar pointed shell apex and well-developed axial sculpture; 7) Lamellaxis cf. gracilis (Hutton, 1834), a wide-ranged species that merits further investigation. These descriptions show how scanty is our knowledge on northeast Brazilian malacofauna and may raise efforts for its preservation.” All material comes from the same locality, Cave Toca de Cima dos Pilão, Coronel José Dias municipality.


Clinispira insolita n. gen. n. sp.


Cyclodontina capivara n. sp.


Anctus prolatus n. sp.


Rhinus gilbertus n. sp.


Streptartemon molaris n. sp.

The new, monotypic genus Clinispira is especially noteworthy, and maybe other species may turn up once this region is better investigated. The study of living specimens should clarify the relationships of the new taxa described by morphological and molecular studies.

Simone, L.R.L. & Casati, R. (2013). New land mollusk fauna from Serra da Capivara, Piauí, Brazil, with a new genus and five new species (Gastropoda: Orthalicoidea, Streptaxidae, Subulinidae). – Zootaxa 3683: 145–158.

Species catalogue for Argentina

Species catalogues are now available for all major Neotropical countries (the most prominent exception being Venezuela), but some of them tend to become a bit outdated. Gabriela Cuezzo and co-workers have just published an up-to-date one for the superfamily Orthalicoidea in Argentina (Cuezzo et al., 2013). The abstract reads as follows:

We provide here a catalogue of all available species nomina of Orthalicoidea occurring in Argentina. Ongoing taxonomic revisions on the genera Bostryx Troschel, 1847, Clessinia Doering, 1874, Pilsbrylia Hylton Scott, 1952, and Spixia Pilsbry & Vanatta, 1898, highlighted the necessity of an updated catalogue for the region. A total of 101 orthalicoidean species classified into four families, Bothriembryontidae, Bulimulidae, Odontostomidae and Simpulopsidae are present in Argentina. The catalogue provided here is based on examination of primary literature, available revisions and monographs, comparative studies within and among species and revision of museum data, including most type specimens. Additional collection of specimens in various localities of the country was carried out for more than a decade to be able to accurately state distributional information on the species treated. Nomenclatural details are provided for all nominal species. Name-bearing types were located for 86 species-group taxa, and six lectotypes were designated for the stabilization of the taxonomy. We propose the following nine new combinations: Bulimulus fourmiersi (d’Orbigny, 1835), Clessinia cordovana (Pfeiffer, 1855), Drymaeus flossdorfi (Holmberg, 1909), Cyclodontina (Ventanía) avellanedae(Doering, 1881), Simpulopsis (Eudioptus) eudioptus (Ihering in Pilsbry, 1897), Spixia champaquiana (Doering, 1875), S. charpentieri (Grateloup in Pfeiffer, 1850), S. minor (d’Orbigny, 1837) and S. parodizi (Hylton Scott, 1951). The following four new synonymies are proposed: Bostryx sophieae Breure, 1979, with Bulimus cordillerae (Strobel, 1874) (current name Bostryx cordillerae); Cyclodontina (Clessinia) gracilis Hylton Scott, 1956, with Bulimus cordovanus Pfeiffer, 1855 (current name Clessinia cordovana); Spixia estherae Fernández, 1971, withOdontostomus (Spixia) costellifer Hass, 1936 (current nameSpixia costellifer); Kuschelenia simulans Hylton Scott, 1951, with Helix tupacii d’Orbigny, 1835 (current name Scutalus tupacii). Bulimulus sporadicus gracilis Hylton Scott, 1948, is changed from subspecific to specific status.

Given the time-lag for publication (manuscript finally accepted in March 2013), all recent data have been included. And I think the author’s acknowledgement of the role of BHL is very apt as it is indeed becoming indispensable. For the coming years this is a major paper for the regional malacology.


Cuezzo, M.G., Miranda, M.J. & Ovando, X.M.C. (2013). Species catalogue of Orthalicoidea in Argentina (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora). — Malacologia 56: 135-191.

Taxonomic position of Bulimus demerarensis

In the Guianas two species of Leiostracus occur, L. demerarensis (Pfeiffer, 1861) and L. ruthveni (H.B. Baker, 1926). Recently Muratov & Gargominy (2011) have studied both species and proposed a new taxonomic placement.

In their paper, Muratov & Gargominy have studied the type material of both taxa, respectively in the London and Philadelphia museums. Moreover, they have studied the anatomy of a single specimen from French Giuana; unfortunately the specimen was dried in and had to be re-hydrated. 
The protoconch sculpture, an important characteristic in the orthalicoids, consists of fine spiral lines. The authors state this sculpture has only been observed in three genera: Discoleus Breure, 1978, Bostryx Troschel, 1847, and Leiostracus Albers, 1850. There is, however, a fourth genus with a similar protoconch scultpture, viz. Lopesianus Weyrauch, 1958, represented with a single species from Brazil. Discoleus seems improbable, as it only occurs in southern Argentina, so the choice is between Bostryx and Leiostracus.

Study of the genitalia reveals that the spermoviduct is simple. In the known Leiostracus species this duct is swollen in its distal part, becoming very slender towards the spermatheca after a sudden transition. Bostryx species have a slender spermathecal duct throughout and a distal penis sheath. “Unfortunately we were unable to observe the penial sheath clearly on our re-hydrated specimen but we strongly suspect its presence since it was quite difficult to trace the vas deferens on the surface of the distal part of the penis”. The shell morphology is quite similar to some species of Leiostracus in having a peripheral angle on the body whorl, but “does not resemble any known species of Bostryx” (o.c.: 613-614). From the genitalia they notwithstanding concluded that the species belongs to Bostryx.

From the rehydrated specimen also the radula and mandibula could be extracted; only the mandibula was illustrated . The radula is said to be “with monocuspid central, bicuspid lateral and weakly tricuspid marginal teeth”.  The radula formula for Bostryx is C/1 + LM/2, or C/1 + L/1 + M/2; for Leiostracus C/1 + L/2 + M/3 (Breure 1978 Zool. Verhand. 164: 239-240). This points more to the latter than to the former genus. Unfortunately, the radula has not been illustrated by Muratov & Gargominy.

In conclusion, Muratov & Gargominy re-classified Bulimus demerarensis Pfeiffer, 1861 with Bostryx, at the same time considering Drymaeus (Leiostracus) ruthveni H.B. Baker 1926 as a junior subjective synonym of Pfeiffer’s taxon. 
Although I can agree with the synonymization, I find the evidence presented for the generic transfer insufficient. The more so since Leiostracus is grouped in a different family (Simpulopsidae). In my humble opinion more evidence, e.g. also molecular, is needed for such a re-classification. 
Muratov, I.M. & Gargominy, O., 2011. Taxonomic position of the land snail Bulimus demerarensis L. Pfeiffer 1861 (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Bulimulidae). – Journal of Conchology 40: 611-615.