Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Very unusual snail is new to science

New additions to the snail family
November 2011. Many species of minute soils snails are known to be easily dispersed by wind, floating in water or by larger organisms such as birds. Many of these small species of snails have huge distribution areas; several Gastrocoptidae species are known from almost every island of The Indo-Malayan archipelago and mostly known from coastal areas here.

However, many other groups of land snails are strictly localized in their distribution and show pronounced local endemism, for example, numerous Cyclophoridae.

Remarkable shells
Taxonomical and biogeographical studies on the land snail genus Ditropopsis surprised scientists with the number of new discoveries and by extraordinary shaped shells.

5 possible new species
In total, Kristine Greke (From Malacology workgroup in Riga, Latvia) has discovered and described three new species so far, and two more await confirmation. This genus of snails is mostly found in old growth rainforests on limestone, but are absent from degraded forests.

One of new species, named Ditropopsis mirabilis (miraculous, extraordinary) baffled researches with its very unusual form of shell. The shell spiral is not fused together, but is ‘flying freely'.

All these descriptions and associated biogeographical analysis were published in the volume 1 of new book series ‘Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea".'

Dmitry Telnov, PhDThe Entomological Society of Latvia
Executive editor of the "Biodiversity, Biogeography and Nature Conservation in Wallacea and New Guinea" series

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