Tag Archives: taxonomy

New Urocoptid from Hispaniola

Just released: a paper by Thomas Watters dealing with the urocoptid genus Gyraxis, and describing a new species. The abstract reads “The genus Gyraxis in Hispaniola is reviewed, currently only known from the area of the Bahía de Samaná in the Dominican Republic. It includes three taxa: Gyraxis samana (Clench, 1966), G. sericata (Pilsbry, 1903) and G. excalibur new species. The radular morphology and isolation from Cuban Gyraxis suggest they may yet require a new genus”.

Watters also, when dealing with the nomen inquirendum Cylindrella gouldiana Pfeiffer, 1853, indicated this taxon has never been figured and that Crosse subsequently mentioned the first precise locality for the species (“Région Dominicaine: rochers du Tablaso, près San Cristobal (A. Sallé)”). Watters expressed “it is not clear how he knew this”. This answer is simple: Crosse always indicated behind his localities the collector of the material, in this case Sallé. The material which Crosse saw may either have been returned to Sallé or have ended up in the Crosse collection. Both collections have been dispersed after their owner’s death, and the current depository of the material is unknown.

Watters, G.T., 2018. The genus Gyraxis Pilsbry, 1903 (Gastropoda: Urocoptidae) from Bahía de Samaná area of the Dominican Republic. – Journal of Conchology, 43: 103-108.



Ovachlamys fulgens redescribed

Salles et al. just published a paper on the tropical Helicarionid snail Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude, 1900) for which they used Brazilian material to redescribe the species.

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-10 om 11.49.50

Their abstract reads “The geographical distribution of the jumping snail Ovachlamys fulgens Gude, 1900, originally described from Loo-Choo Island, is expanding rapidly throughout the tropics. The full extent of the environmental damage caused by the in- troduction of this exotic species is still unknown. So far, it has been implicated in damage to orchids and horticultural plants. Ovachlamys fulgens is only known by a few characteristics of the shell and information on its anatomy is scant. The present study aims to redescribe this species based on specimens from Brazil, which is here characterized by the a globose shell, with wide aperture, externally micro-sculptured with undulating spiral groves, umbilicus partially obliterated by a thin plate, pedal sole tripartite, cephalopedal mass consisting of a series of oblique muscles, mantle with two flattened lobes, large caudal horn, pallial cavity small, vascular system evident, auricle fibrous, ventricle highly muscular, aorta subdivided in cephalic and gastric veins, a large kidney internally folded, jaw smooth and crescentic, radulae with 127 teeth per row (55-(8)- 1-(8)-55), each row with about 25 mm, crop absent, salivary glands fused, stomach large with thin walls, ovotestis with at least three distinct lobes, talon totally immersed in the albumen gland, uterus with two regions, capsule gland hardly visible, bursa copulatrix small and sacculiform, penial sheath present, epiphallus small and narrow, nervous ring asymmetrical, visceral ganglion on left side only, five and six nerves running from each cerebral and pedal ganglia, respectively, one statocyst immersed in each pedal ganglion, and two pairs of ganglia (mandibular and buccopharyngeal ganglia) extra to the nervous ring.”

Schermafbeelding 2018-04-10 om 11.50.30

The authors have done a thorough morphological and anatomical study, which will undoubtedly help to identify this species in future.

Salles, A.C.A., Oliveira, C.D.C. & Absalão, R.S., 2018. Redescription of the jumping snail Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude, 1900) (Gastropoda: Helicarionoidea: Helicarionidae): An anatomical and conchological approach. – The Nautilus, 132 (1): 19-29.

Revised classification of gastropod names

Just published: the revised nomenclator and classification of gastropod families (and above) by Bouchet et al., 2017. It is an update of the first version, now more than 10 years ago, plus an addition of monoplacophoran families.

The abstract reads “2,604 names at the rank of subtribe, tribe, subfamily, family and superfamily have been proposed for Recent and fossil gastropods, and another 35 for monoplacophorans. All names are listed in a nomenclator giving full bibliographical reference, date of publication, typfication, and their nomenclatural availability and validity under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Another 790 names, established for categories above the family- group (infraorder to subclass) are listed separately. A fully ranked, hierarchical classification summarizes recent advances in the phylogeny of the Gastropoda and Monoplacophora. In all, the classification recognizes as valid a total of 721 gastropod families, of which 245 are known exclusively as fossils and 476 occur in the Recent with or without a fossil record; and 20 monoplacophoran families, of which 1 only occurs as Recent.

Nomenclatural acts in this work: Amberleya bathonica Cox & Arkell, 1950, fixed as type species of Amberleya J. Morris & Lycett, 1851, under Art. 70.3; Ampezzopleura tenuis Nützel, 1998, fixed as type species of Ampezzopleura Bandel, 1991, under Art. 70.3; Proserpina nitida G. B. Sowerby II, 1839, designated type species of Despoena Newton, 1891; Buccinum glabratum Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Dipsaccus H. Adams & A. Adams, 1853; Murex ficus Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Ficula Swainson, 1835; Oncomelania hupensis Gredler, 1881, designated type species of Hemibia Heude, 1890; Murex metaxa Delle Chiaje, 1828, fixed as type species of Metaxia Monterosato, 1884 under Art. 70.3; Neridomus anglicus Cox & Arkell, 1950, fixed as type species of Neridomus J. Morris & Lycett, 1851, under Art. 70.3; Navicella clypeolum Récluz, 1843, designated type species of Orthopoma Gray, 1868; Trochus viadrinus M. Schmidt, 1905, fixed as type species of Parataphrus Chavan, 1954 under Art. 70.3; Helix pomatia Linnaeus, 1758, designated type species of Pentataenia A. Schmidt, 1855; Flammulina ponsonbyi Suter, 1897, fixed as type species of Phenacohelix Suter, 1892, under Art. 70.3; Cyrtolites corniculum Eichwald, 1860, fixed as type species of Pollicina Koken, 1895, under Art. 70.3; Purpurina elegantula d’Orbigny, 1850, designated as type species of Purpurina d’Orbigny, 1850, and lectotype of Turbo bellona d’Orbigny, 1850, designated as neotype of Purpurina elegantula; Pyramidella minuscula Monterosato, 1880, fixed as type species of Tiberia Jeffreys, 1884, under Art. 70.3; Cyclostoma delicatum Philippi, 1844, fixed as type species of Trachysma G. O. Sars, 1878, under Art. 70.3; Helix elegans Gmelin, 1791, fixed as type species of Trochoidea T. Brown, 1827, under Art. 70.3; Turritellopsis stimpsoni Dall, 1919, fixed as type species of Turritellopsis G. O. Sars, 1878, under Art. 70.3; Fusus averillii Gabb, 1864, fixed as type species of Volutoderma Gabb, 1876, under Art. 70.3; Voluta pepo Lightfoot, 1786, fixed as type species of Yetus Bowdich, 1822. Curnonidae d’Udekem d’Acoz, nom. nov., and Curnon d’Udekem d’Acoz, nom. nov., are established for Charcotiidae Odhner, 1926, and Charcotia Vayssière, 1906, (between 27 March and 1 May), non Charcotia Chevreux, 1906 (January) [Amphipoda]; Yuopisthonematidae Nützel, nom. nov., and Yuopisthonema Nützel, nom. nov., are established for Opisthonematidae Yu, 1976, and Opisthonema Yu, 1974, non Gill, 1862 [Pisces]. The new family-group name Burnupiidae Albrecht is established in this work; and the names Scolodontina and Orthalicoidei are first used here to denote, respectively, a suborder containing the family Scolodontidae, and an infraorder containing the superfamily Orthalicoidea”.

This important work will serve as a guide for the correct classification of higher levels in these groups, and also as a rich source for data. The references contain several collations providing publication dates for different parts of works.

Bouchet et al., 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator and Typification of Gastropod and Monoplacophoran Families. – Malacologia, 61 (1-2): 1-526.

Nomenclature explained

Incidentally I found on the net a very useful document, explaining the use of biological (i.e. zoological) names and also of relevant articles in the ICZN Code.

Even those who are familiar with the Code can find bits of information that are enlightening. Personally I was happy to see a further explanation of Art. 11.6 which rules the names published as junior synonym (p. 68-69). As Francisco Welter-Schultes wrote to me, this is especially for malacologists a hot topic and needs further action from the Commission. But the 5th edition of the Code is only expected in 2020 or later, so in the meantime one has to cope with the situation by trying to keep nomenclature as stabile as possible.

The document can be found at http//www.gbif.org/orc/?doc_id=2784 or at https://tinyurl.com/ycgvy48v.

Tautonyms of Jousseaume

Just published: a paper on Jousseaume’s tautonyms by Leo van Gemert and myself.

We present a short biography of Félix-Pierre Jousseaume (12 April 1835-3 November 1921) and an addition to his bibliography. He published in total 138 malacological and 21 non-malacological articles or books. In the appendix additional references are listed in comparison with an earlier published preliminary bibliography. Jousseaume received many comments from other malacologists, especially for his tautonyms. Critical remarks from Weinkauff, Tryon, Woodward and Mellvill, and one comment from Jousseaume, are cited.

In total Jousseaume published 28 new species-level taxa as primary, absolute taunonyms (new genus and new species) and 24 secondary ones (22 with a new genus and 2 with a new species name). The virtual tautonyms (with almost identical genus and species names) are not discussed. However, for four taxa of Jousseaume it is unclear if the taxon is a tautonym or a virtual tautonym. In our view the problems were caused by carelessness of Jousseaume. These four taxa are discussed extensively and a conclusion is presented on the correct name. The results are shown in the tables with the original name (invariably the tautonym), source of the original name, and the present view on the taxon with the source and (explanatory) remarks”.

Gemert, L.J. van & Breure, A.S.H., 2017. The tautonyms of Jousseaume: a taxonomical studt. – Folia conchyliologica, 42: 14-23.

Phylogenetic data on Sagdoidea

As an advance online publication, recently appeared the paper by Sei et al. on the phylogenetic relationships within the Sagdoidea.

The abstract reads: “We performed multi-locus, time-calibrated phylogenetic analyses of Jamaican Pleurodontidae to infer their relationships within pulmonate land snails. These analyses revealed that Sagdoidea, with about 200 species in the Caribbean Basin and neighbouring regions, is the sister group of Helicoidea with about 4700 species worldwide and that these superfamilies diverged 61–96 Ma. Morphological disparity in Sagdoidea is similar to that in Helicoidea despite its much lower species richness. Helicoidea originated in the New World and colonized the Old World 46–64 Ma. Pleurodontids and sagdids colonized Jamaica 15.0–18.4 and 12.8–16.5 Ma, respectively, consistent with geological estimates of Jamaican subaerial emergence by mid-Miocene. Allopatric convergence in shell morphologies required caution in using fossils from outside the geographic range of ingroup taxa to calibrate molecular clock estimates. Estimates of ages of clades varied by 24–55%, depending on the calibration points included. We use these results to revise Helicoidea and Sagdoidea. Pleurodontids from Jamaica and the Lesser Antilles were reciprocally monophyletic but other putative pleurodontids grouped basally in Helicoidea as Labyrinthidae (new family), or with Sagdidae. Newly recognized members of Sagdoidea are Solaropsinae and Caracolinae (Solaropsidae), Polydontinae (Sagdidae) and Zachrysiidae (new family). Pleurodontidae is restricted to two subfamilies, Pleurodontinae, in the Lesser Antilles, with Gonostomopsinae, a synonym, and Lucerninae resurrected for the Jamaican endemic genera Lucerna, Dentellaria, Thelidomus and Eurycratera. Lucerna and Dentellaria have been treated as subgenera of Pleurodonte, but rendered it paraphyletic in our analyses”.

This is a nice piece of research for which the authors did extensive DNA research with 3 loci and divergence time analysis. This resulted in a major taxonomical revision of the group, defining the Pleurodontidae and erecting the Labyrinthidae and Zachrysiidae.

Sei, M., Robinson, R.G., Geneva, A.J. & Rosenberg, G., 2017. Doubled helix: Sagdoidea is the overlooked sister group of Helicoidea (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Pulmonata). – Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, XX: 1-32 [advance online publication, hence the correct reference will be different].

An overlooked designation

Taxonomy of fossils and recent species sometimes intertwines as demonstrated by a new publication of Kadolsky.

A nice update for the correct names of the Hispaniolan malacofauna.

Kadolsky, D., 2017. On the type species of the genus Galactochilus Sandberger, 1875, with a review of the identity of Helix cornumilitare Linnaeus, 1758 and of its misidentifications (Gastropoda: Helicoidea). – Archiv für Molluskenkunde, 146: 97-110.