Tag Archives: West Indies

Terrestrial snails on ABC islands

In the stream of end-of-year publications, Hovestadt & van Leeuwen (2017) just published an important overview of the land snails from Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. The abstract reads “A review is given of the terrestrial malacofauna of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean. The most recent reviews of these islands were given in 1924 by Baker and in 1940 by Wagenaar Hummelinck. Wagenaar Hummelinck accepted fewer species and subspecies than Baker, without giving any arguments. Baker did give a detailed account making it possible to recognize his taxa in the eld. Genetic research by Harasewych in 2015 supported Baker’s views with regard to the genus Cerion. Figures are provided for most taxa so each can be identified. Helicina dysoni L. Pfeiffer, 1849, Leptinaria lamellata (Potiez & Michaud, 1835), and Polygyra cereolus (Megerle von Mühlfeldt, 1816) are reported here for the first time, Guppya molengraafi Baker, 1924 has been rediscovered”.

After an introduction dealing with geography, geology, climate and vegetation, the previous research on this group from the islands is discussed. The following systematical part gives data on the distribution followed by remarks, and an illustration of each species. This paper is a nice addition to earlier, recent papers on other islands in the Lesser Antilles.

Reference:
Hovestadt, A. & van Leeuwen, S., 2017. Terrestrial molluscs of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean: an updated checklist and guide to identification. – Vita Malacologica, 16: 1-39.

 

 

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Protoglyptus luciae from Martinique

Recently a fourth Protoglyptus species, P. luciae (Pilsbry, 1897), has been reported from the Caribbean island of Martinique by Bertrand (2017). This species was found at three different localities relatively close together, mainly in secondary forest.

Reference:
Bertrand, A., 2017. Protoglyptus luciae (Pilsbry, 1897) (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Bulimulidae) espèce nouvelle pour la faune de Martinique. – Folia conchyliologica, 43: 5-7.

Hispaniolan Weinlandipoma

Freshly pressed: a review by Thomas Watters of twenty Weinlandipoma species from Hispaniola, with description of seven new taxa: W. charybdis, W. corbis, W. formonense, W. gregoi, W. pruinosum, W. silmarilium, and W. tylotum. Species are distributed on either the Massif de la Hotte or the Massif de la Selle on the Tiburon Peninsula of the island. Most are locally endemic, often confined to a single mountain peak or slope or island. All are currently susceptible to extinction.

This is another sound contribution of Watters to the malacofauna of the Caribbean area.

Reference:
Watters, G.T., 2017. A review of Weinlandipoma (Gastropoda, Littorinoidea, Annulariidae) from the Tiburon Peninsula of Hispaniola: imperiled local endemics. – Basteria, 81 (4-6): 65-89.

Dutch Caribbean Species Register

Just launched: a website which contain data on the biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean, including – of course – the snails…

The announcement read:

‘For the first time ever, we present a complete overview of the known biodiversity (animals, plants, fungi) from the Dutch Caribbean: over 7.500 species. This online database is the result of an effort of Naturalis Biodiversity Center – the biodiversity research center and Dutch national natural history museum- to gather all relevant publications on the biodiversity and natural history of the six islands of the Dutch Caribbean: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten.

We expect the species database to grow over the coming years, as Naturalis processes the results of recent expedition to e.g. Sint Eustatius, during which several species new to science were discovered.

The database contains a wide variety of information. This includes, but is not limited to: literature references, presence status per island, photos, common/local names and habitats. The checklist can be searched and filtered in several ways and can also be navigated through a taxonomic tree. Furthermore, the checklist is illustrated by a growing photo archive of over 2.000 photos of nearly 10% of the species.

Do you want to participate? We are looking for volunteer photographers with material from the area and people with knowledge of species occurring in the area. All photos and species information is validated before being published. Interested in contributing? Drop us a line at speciesregister@naturalis.nl.

We hope the Dutch Caribbean Species Register will prove to be a useful tool for nature conservation and biodiversity research in the Dutch Caribbean!’

Just a sample page of a snail species:

Note that you search in different ways and there are several outgoing links which you can further explore.

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.

Reference:
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].

A brief Barbados visit

Today I saw the paper published by Franke already in 2015. Because of its interests for this blog, it is summarised here.

During a short visit to Barbados, the author found specimens of Pseudopineria barbadensis Kraus, 1996 and describes its habitat. From the same site a second species is reported, Truncatella barbadensis Pfeiffer, 1856.

Reference:
Franke, S., 2015. Fundortbestätigung: Pseudopineria barbadensis Kraus 1996 (Pulmonata: Urocoptidae) auf der Insel Barbados. – Mittheilungen Club Conchylia, 25: 19-22.

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.

Reference:
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.