Tag Archives: tepui

Photo of the day (149): Plekocheilus

Philippe Kok very kindly shared some additional photographs of living Plekocheilus snails from tepuis in Venezuelan Guayana.

The first picture was taken at night on Auyán-tepui in the Chimantá massif. It is a very yellow coloured specimen of P. (Eurytus) mundiperditi Haas, 1955. This species is well known from this area and may be found on several of the tepuis in this massif.

The second snail was found on Uei-tepui, also known as Cerro El Sol, an isolated mountain-top south-east of Roraima. This tepui was hitherto malacologically terra incognita, but the photo is interesting in several aspects. First, this appears to be P. (E.) sophiae Breure, 2009, which was until now only known from Yuruani-tepui, NW of Roraima. Secondly, this shell has had a severe ‘life accident’ as shown by the upper part of the last whorl near the peristome; looks like a repaired shell after a predator attack (mammal??). Finally, the colour pattern at the penultimate whorl is peculiar (lighter and darker spiral bands), but has been observed in other species as well; this may be due to either a genetic defect regulating the colour pattern genes or may have been induced by another damage of the shell (on the side not shown here).

More information on this group may be found via this link: http://bit.ly/IOYgok

Plekocheilus mundiperditi Plekocheilus sophiae

Pantepui explorers

Today I talked to Philippe Kok in Brussels, who is doing research on frogs from Pantepui. He collected some snails, including this small one from Apacar?? tepui, found in bromeliads.

We discussed about his observations and compared the pattern of results both for frogs and for snails. Although frogs are probably more agile than snails, the patterns found so far are remarkably similar. Strong ties between the Andes and Pantepui, but the species found on the tepuis seem relatively ‘young’. 

Another explorer (and a generalist one) is Charles Brewer, who talks about exploring in three short videos (links below). Not only about exploration in the jungle but also in other fields. “Keep on exploring, keep on discovering”. New plants (see the third video) and possibly this snail too.

Venezuelan Guayana Plekocheilus: SEM (1)

For a review of the malacofauna from the tepuis in Southern Venezuela and the adjacent area in Brazil, I recently made a series of Scanning Electron Microscope photographs. As not all pictures will make it to the publication – being slight variations on the same theme – I choose to make the photographs available here.

Today, pictures of Plekocheilus (Eurytus) huberi Breure, 2009 of respectively the mandibula, the central area of the radula, the marginal area and an overview to show the shape of the transverse rows.





A new book on Chimant??

Those who follow me, know that I have a weakness for the magnificent landscape of Venezuelan Guayana.This week a new book appeared, describing the cave systems that are present in some of these sandstone table-top mountains (geologically very unusual) and the biodiversity of the Chimant?? massif. All framed in nearly 300 pages, with 500 beautiful and often stunning pictures. It is called ‘Entra??as del Mundo Perdido’ and was written by Charles Brewer-Carias and Marek Audy. At the moment the book is only available as Spanish text; an English translation might follow.


And yes, snails are also represented in the book, referring to the material that was described from the 2009 expedition to Chur??-tepui.


Besides being a beauty to the eye, this book also gives a sound and splendid overview of some of the secrets of the Lost World that were uncovered only recently.

Brewer-Carias, C., Audy, M., 2011. Entra??as del Mundo Perdido: 1-291. Published by Brewer-Carias, Caracas.