Tag Archives: West Indies

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.



New Tentacle issue available

Tentacle issue 26 is available now via this link. As always a very interesting overview of short papers and notes related to the conservation of molluscs.

The issue starts with an In Memoriam for Tony Whitten (1953-2017) who, although mainly involved with conservation in Asia, has been of importance for stimulating malacologists for conservation issues. This is best illustrated by a quote from 2001 which was added by the editor: “I would venture to suggest that the majority of malacologists need to poke their heads out from the security of their shells and slither rapidly to be heard and become involved in the issues that threaten the organisms on which their careers are based. This does not mean that this topic take over your own particular speciality and distract your research programme, but it does recognize that you have a profound responsibility to do something [my italics]. The actual and potential threats to many mollusc species, and the trends, can’t get much worse”.

Related to the Neotropics, the following notes are included:

1. Espinosa, A. Measures to control Lissachatina fulica: impact on native terrestrial molluscs in the Dominican Republic.
This papers tells the story how an area of secondary forest, where in August 2017 nine endemic species were found, plus the achatinid, was a few months later completely ‘treated’ with molluscicides and deforestation.

2. Santos, S.B. dos & Miyahira, I.G. Evaluation of the list of endangered non-marine molluscs in Brasil in progress.

3. Agudo-Padron, I. Conservation of non-marine molluscs in Central Southern Brasil: revised and updated inventory of species of Santa Catarina State.

4. Salvador, R.B. et al. Presumed extinct land snail Megalobulimus cardosoi found again in Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve, north-east Brasil.

New Hispaniolan Annulariids

Already some months ago, Thomas Watters published a new revision dealing with Hispaniolan annulariids (Watters & Larson, 2017).

The annulariid genera Chondropomella, Chondropomium, and Clydonopoma are believed to have originated from the Tiburon/Barahona Peninsula in isolation from the rest of Hispaniola. Chondropomium has colonized the rift valley and adjacent river valleys between the Tiburon Peninsula and the remainder of Hispaniola. It is primarily limited to xeric lowlands, rarely found above 200 m elevation. Little is known about the rare Chondropomella but they seem to occur in the rift valley in xeric areas as well. In contrast, Clydonopoma is endemic to the Sierra Baoruco with a single species in the adjacent eastern Massif de la Selle and occupies the upland mesic forests and pine savannahs between 200–4000 m. The most widely distributed species, Chondropomium weinlandi, has been the subject of considerable confusion concerning the nature of its many color forms or subspecies, as well as its valid name. This species was investigated using phylogenetic methods and compared to congeners and related genera. A phylogenetic study aimed at elucidating relationships among these taxa analyzed a partitioned matrix of nuclear (ITS 1) and mitochondrial (CO1, 12S, 16S) DNA sequences in a Maximum-likelihood framework under the GTR+G substitution model. Contrary to Bartsch’s 1946 assessment that C. weinlandi is a complex of subspecies, it is here shown to be a single, highly polymorphic species for color. The new genus Superbipoma is recognized based on phylogenetic, radular, and conchological evidence. It contains two species: S. asymmetricum (Henderson and Simpson, 1902) and S. superbum (Pilsbry, 1933). Eleven species of Chondropomium are recognized including two new species: C. caelicum and C. sardonyx; three species of Chondropomella and nine species of Clydonopoma, including one new species, Clydonopoma titanum, are recognized. A calcified operculum is the ancestral condition for the Annulariidae. In Clydonopoma and Chondropomella the operculum is a particularly complex calcified structure termed the pseudolamella. This structure has been lost in Chondropomium and Superbipoma”.

As usual, this paper is very thorough, well organised and includes a phylogenetic study based on a multi-locus analysis.

Watters, G.T. & Larson, P., 2017. A revision of the Hispaniolan genera Chondropomella, Chondropomium, and Clydonopoma (Gastropoda: Annulariidae), with the recognition of a new genus, Superbipoma: phylogenetic, radular, and conchological evidence. – Nautilus, 131 (3):163-201.

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.

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.



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.

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.

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.