Tag Archives: West Indies

A rare Guadeloupe species

In the flush of the ‘end-of-the-year’ papers, a brief note was published by Lenoble & Charles on a rare species from Guadeloupe. Their abstract is “A shell of Laevaricella guadeloupensis (L. Pfeiffer, 1856) (Gastropoda, Oleacinidae) was found on Mahault Ridge, within the Guadeloupe National Park. This locality is the second where this endemic species to Basse-Terre has been identified since it was listed as extinct by IUCN in 1996“.

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Besides an interesting record, it shows that one should be careful to list species as extinct, but at the same time it is clear that this specific species is extremely vulnerable.

Lenoble, A. & Charles, L., 2019. Nouvelle station de Laevaricella guadeloupensis (L. Pfeiffer, 1856), une espèce endémique rare de Guadeloupe (Mollusca, Gastropoda). – MalaCo, 15: 11-13.

Hispaniolan Annulariidae

Another brief paper on Hispaniolan land snails was published by Agudo-Padrón; this time about Annulariidae, with partly unidentified material.

Agudo-Padrón, I., 2019. Joyas malacológicas forestales de la Isla La Española (Hispaniola), Caribe insular: Apuntes acerca de los caracoles rupestres Annulariidae. – Bioma, 52: 71-76.

Hispaniolan Helicina

Recently a brief paper was published presenting a brief note on the Dominican Republic, showing the beautiful colours of helicinid species:

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Agudo-Padrón, I., 2019. Joyas malacológicas forestales de la República Dominicana, Isla La Espanola (Hispaniola), Caribe insular: informaciones preliminares disponibles y desafíos en agenda. – Bioma 51: 18-22.

Fossil Cerion from Cuba

Fossil Cerions are relatively scarce but Suárez published a paper describing two new species. The abstract reads: “Two extinct species of the genus Cerion Röding, 1798, found by first time in subfossil state for Holguin province are described. Both were found in lithologies that date from the Neogene to Quaternary period. The first species, Cerion alejandroi sp. nov., spotted in El Júcaro, Ramón de Antillas, is discussed comparatively with other extant species: Cerion geophilusCerion disforme disformeCerion milerae and Cerion proteus, showing as distinctive characters: imbrication in the whorls, a visible sutural cord and low and sharp ribs. The other new species, Cerion seguii, located in El Uno, Nicaro, is discussed in comparison with: Cerion pygmaeumCerion paredonis, Cerion portillonis and Cerion pretiosus. In this case exhibiting as diagnostic characters: a small and spherical shell, more numbers of whorls at the apical region, with the next to last, moderately more enlarged.

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Suárez, A., 2019. Descripcion de dos especies nuevas de Cerion (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Cerionidae) en estado subfosil, para Holguin, Cuba. – Novitates Caribaea, 14: 121-127.

Avoiding canopy gaps

Only now a paper turned up which was already published in 2014. Bloch & Stock reported on a Puerto Rican species from the Solaropsidae related to ecological research. Unfortunately the paper is text-only…

The abstract is “Because canopy gaps are characterized by elevated temperature and decreased humidity relative to closed-canopy forest, terrestrial gastropods may be exposed to greater desiccation stress in gaps than in undisturbed forest. We placed individuals of Caracolus caracolla at the edges of canopy gaps in montane forest in Puerto Rico and observed their movements. Individuals preferentially moved out of gaps except in one gap on the first night of the study, and the proportion of individuals recaptured inside gaps decreased over time. Individuals moved, on average, farther into forest than into gaps. Juveniles and adults responded similarly. These results suggest that C. caracolla actively avoids canopy gaps, and that its activity and ability to disperse are restricted in a post-disturbance environment“.

Bloch, C.P. & Stock, M., 2014. Avoidance of Canopy Gaps by a Common Land Snail, Caracolus caracolla (L.), in Montane Forest in Puerto Rico. – Caribbean Naturalist, 8: 1-13.

Cerion from Bahamas

Another paper just published in the ‘end-of-the-year-stream’ is by Harasewych & Tenorio.

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Their abstract reads: “Morphometric analyses of shell shape of living specimens of Cerion inhabiting San Salvador Island segregate samples into two primary phenotypes, one inhabiting the western and southern coasts of the island, the other the eastern and much of the northern coast. These are concordant with phenotypes identified in prior morphometric studies. Lectotypes are designated for Cerion watlingense Dall, 1905; C. inconspicuum Dall, 1905; C. inconspicuum lacunorum Dall, 1905; and C. coloni Bartsch, 1924. The lectotype of Cerion watlingense Dall, 1905 falls within the western and southern phenotype, and is the oldest name available for this taxon. The lectotype of Cerion coloni Bartsch, 1924, a validly introduced, but previously unrecognized taxon, and the holotype of Cerion rodrigoi Gould, 1997 both fall within the group containing the east coast populations, with Cerion coloni Bartsch, 1924 being the oldest available name for this phenotype. A third, previously unrecognized phenotype, represented by a single inland population, is morphologically similar to the lectotype of Cerion inconspicuum Dall, 1905, which is the oldest available name for this phenotype. The geographical distribution and chronological succession of these phenotypes since the late Pleistocene is reviewed in the context of both the single and multiple colonization models for the arrival of Cerion on San Salvador, and the evolutionary and taxonomic corollaries of each model are discussed”.

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An interesting paper which shows that morphometric analysis may be needed when the morphology and distribution are seemingly entwined. The study of Cerion, which has intrigued many authors, has been elucidated with a thorough discussion of both the morphological and distributional aspects of the species of this island.

Harasewych, M.G. & Tenorio, M.J., 2018. The genus Cerion (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Cerionidae) on San Salvador [Watling Island], Bahamas: a geometric morphometric analysis of shell morphology. – The Nautilus, 132 (3-4): 71-82.