Photo of the day (70): Parmarion martensi

This land gastropod is Parmarion martensi. It belongs to family Ariophantidae. Some gastropods from this family has a reduced shell. The shell can be so small in some Ariophantidae species, that they can not retract into it. Such gastropods are called semi-slugs.

I thank my friend Doubravka Požárová, the botanist from Charles University in Prague, who kindly provided the following photos to readers of this blog:

Parmarion martensi

Dorsal view of Parmarion martensi from eastern Bali. Photo by Doubravka Požárová, CC-BY-4.0.

Parmarion martensi

Left side view of Parmarion martensi from eastern Bali. Photo by Doubravka Požárová, CC-BY-4.0.

Photos were taken in the surrounding of Lempuyang Temple (Pura Lempuyang Luhur) in the eastern Bali, Indonesia in 2014. It was crawling on the road. I identified the species according to photos only.

Parmarion martensi can reach body length up to 45 mm. It has caudal horn on its tail, but it is not clearly visible on this photo. This species is very variable in color.

Parmarion martensi is native to Southeast Asia. Unfortunately it is able to spread by human activies. It has established in Fiji, Samoa and Hawaii. It was also recorded in the USA. It can be a pest on agricultural crops, but not serious one. Moreover it can transfer nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, that can cause human disease. Therefore it is an important species and for example it is quarantine species in the USA.

References

Brodie G. & Barker G. M. (2012). “Parmarion martensi Simroth, 1893. Family Ariophantidae“. ‘USP Introduced Land Snails of the Fiji Islands Fact Sheet Series’, No. 1

Cowie R. H., Dillon R. T., Robinson D. G. & Smith J. W. (2009). “Alien non-marine snails and slugs of priority quarantine importance in the United States: A preliminary risk assessment”. American Malacological Bulletin 27: 113-132.

Hollingsworth et al. (2007). “Distribution of Parmarion cf. martensi (Pulmonata: Helicarionidae), a New Semi-Slug Pest on Hawai‘i Island, and Its Potential as a Vector for Human Angiostrongyliasis“. Pacific Science 61(4): 457-467. doi:10.2984/1534-6188(2007)61[457:DOPCMP]2.0.CO;2

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Photo of the day (69): Vitrina pellucida

Vitrina pellucida is a small land snail in the family Vitrinidae. It is widely distributed in the Holarctic and it is very common species.

There is visible mantle appendix (extension of the mantle that slightly cover the shell) and open pneumostome (breathing pore) on the photo:

Vitrina pellucidaYou can find them in autumn much more easily. They are fully grown up to 10 mm in body length in autumn. Then they will lay eggs and die. The next generation will hatch out from eggs at spring. Therefore you can not usually find adult Vitrina pellucida at (late) spring (depending on country).

I was mushroom hunting in Moravia on October 14, 2017. I found this snail altogether with two juvenile Lehmannia marginata slugs on a Xerocomellus chrysenteron mushroom.

Vitrina pellucida and two Lehmannia marginataVitrina pellucidaDoes the Vitrina pellucida eat mushrooms? I do not know. But what does it eat?

British malacologist John William Taylor (1845-1931) wrote in 1914: “Vitrina pellucida has an almost omnivorous appetite, and is credited with feeding upon Liverwort (Jungermannia platyphylla), mosses, fallen leaves, and decaying vegetable matter. It is also carnivorous, being said by Dr. Baudon to voraciously devour raw mutton, and will also feast upon the bodies of dead or dying worms and animals of its own or other species.”

Falkner et al. wrote in their dataset in 2001:
Deciduous forest litter 2
Lichens (gen.) 1
Epilithic/epiphytic 1
Living algae 1
Higher plants (gen.) 2
Dead 2
Carnivorous/saprophagous 2

This can be read (approximately) in human language: Vitrina pellucida eat sometimes deciduous forest litter and dead plants. It is sometimes carnivorous and/or saprophagous. Rarely it also feeds on epilithic and/or epiphytic lichens and on living algae.

Both authors does not mention fungi. Falkner at al. ignored information, that it eats mosses (although mosses have its own column in the dataset and although they cited Taylor in the reference section), but they listed lichens. Among hundreds of references listed at the end on the book only, it impossible to practically detect where informations comes from.

References

Falkner G., Obrdlík P., Castella E. & Speight M. C. D. 2001: Shelled Gastropoda of Western Europe. München: Friedrich-Held-Gesellschaft, 267 pp.

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 112 and page 34.

Taylor J. W. 1914″ Monograph of the land and freshwater Mollusca of the British Isles. Zonitidae, Endodontidae, Helicidae. Leeds, page 7.

Photo of the day (68): Tethys fimbria

Tethys fimbria is a big nudibranch in the family Tethydidae. My specimen is from Croatia and photos were taken in the aquarium:

Tethys fimbria have cerata on sides of its body. Dorsal view from its tail end:

Tethys fimbriaIt will self-amputate its own cerata, when it feels in danger. It is good defensive strategy against fish. But when people tries to catch a Tethys fimbria, then it can lose many of its cerata.

Self-amputated cerata of Tethys fimbria:

Cerata of Tethys fimbriaFrontal view of Tethys fimbria:
Tethys fimbriaIts rhinophores are small. The left rhinohore is that small brown thing:
Rhinophore of Tethys fimbriaIt is known, that species in the family Tethydidae are predators. They hunt small crustaceans. But I have never read which exact small crustaceans they eat. They use the oral velum or oral hood for catching the prey.

Oral velum from the ventral side:
Oral velum of Tethys fimbriaDetail of the oral velum from ventral side:
Detail of oral velum of Tethys fimbriaIf you know what species of crustaceans does Tethys fimbria hunt, let me to know. Thanks.

References

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Photo of the day (67): Limax cinereoniger

Limax cinereoniger is a big land slug in the family Limacidae.

I found this one underside the mushroom in the wood in Moravia, Czech Republic:
Limax cinereonigerAlthough it is thought to be the longest land slug species, it is shrinked like this:
Limax cinereonigerIt seemed a bit pale and especially the foot was very pale. I have taken it and taken no photo of the foot. It has great color variability, but the mantle is unicolor always and the sole has three color parts always.

I have taken photos of the same specimen 26 days later. It grow up and the three color parts of the foot are visible more clearly:

Limax cinereoniger footLimax cinereoniger foot with a ruler:

Limax cinereoniger footDetail of the foot:

Limax cinereoniger foot detailGeneral view:

Limax cinereonigerReferences

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 115.

Photo of the day (66): Pila ampullacea

Pila ampullacea is a freshwater snail originally from the Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Ampullariidae.

These snails are edible and they are regularly collected and consumed in Vietnam in various ways. They should be parboiled, because raw or undercooked snails can transfer parasites such as metacercariae of Echinostoma causing echinostomiasis.

I thank my friend Jan Vrba who kindly provided the photo.

Pila ampullacea

A dish of Pila ampullacea from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by Jan Vrba, CC-BY-4.0.

This food was served in a restaurant under the Vietnamese name “Ốc hầm thuốc bắc”, that means approximately something like “Slowly cooked snails, (recipe from) northern (traditional) medicine”. It is just a name for attracting customers. I think, they should write word cuisine instead of medicine. However snails are important source of proteins, especially in areas where proteins are scarce.

References

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Macrochlamys amboinensis

Macrochlamys amboinensis (von Martens, 1864) is a land snail from the family Ariophantidae. Its synonym is Tanychlamys amboinensis. This south-eastern Asian family has – among other ones – two interesting features: extended mantle called mantle collar and caudal horn on the tail.

I received few live snails named Tanychlamys amboinensis. I do not know the locality. I checked out everything about Tanychlamys amboinensis and found out that it is a synonym of Macrochlamys amboinensis (because recent malacologists use the name Macrochlamys). I can not be sure, that my snails are Macrochlamys amboinensis species surely, because I did not checked out all other Macrochlamys species, but the identification seems to be correct. I checked out all resources what I was able to find and I compiled the following overview of the history of research of this species:

This species was described by German malacologist and zoologist Eduard von Martens under the name Hyalina amboinensis in 1864. The type locality is “Mollukische Inseln der Amboinagruppe: Buru, Amboina und Banda-Nera”. The specific name amboinensis refer to the Ambon Island in Indonesia. It has been also spelled Amboyna, Amboina, and Amboine.

Von Martens did not depicted this new species in 1864, but he did it three years later, in 1867. Drawing of a shell of Macrochlamys amboinensis by von Martens (1867):
Macrochlamys amboinensisGerman malacologist Stefan Clessin classified this species as Hyalina (Polita) amboinensis in 1881.

American malacologist George Wahington Tryon classified this species as Zonites (Hyalinia) amboinensis within the family Zonitidae in 1886. The family Ariophantidae was established two years later, in 1888. Drawing of a shell of Macrochlamys amboinensis by G. W. Tryon (1886):
Macrochlamys amboinensisDutch malacologist Woutera Sophie Suzanna van Benthem Jutting reported this species from the West Java. She firstly thought, that this species belong to the family Zonitidae and later she classified it as Tanychlamys amboinensis within family Helicarionidae in 1952. She reported only specimen in shell width of 12-13 mm. As of shell features and radula depiction I would recommend van Benthem Jutting’s description.

For distinguishing from other species this can help a bit: The last whorl is well-rounded. Apex of Macrochlamys amboinensis is rounded in comparison with other similar species in the genus.

Its distribution include Vietnam, and various islands in Indonesia, for example also Sumatra. It live in forests on limestone mountains in Vietnam. It lives from 700 m a. s. l. to more than 2958 m a. s. l in West Java. According to von Martens, it lives on the ground under moist leaves together with Stenogyra snails (family Subulinidae). Van Benthem Jutting also reported that is lives on the ground.

 

This snail has a shell width 18 mm and shell height 9 mm.

Left side view:
Macrochlamys amboinensisAnother left side view:
Macrochlamys amboinensisJust another left side view:
Macrochlamys amboinensisThree right side views:
Macrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisTwo dorsal views:
Macrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisUmbilical view:
Macrochlamys amboinensisFoot:
Macrochlamys amboinensis


Another Macrochlamys amboinensis snail has a shell width 15 mm and shell height 8 mm.

Right side view:
Macrochlamys amboinensisThere is visible a tentacle like extension of the mantle of the right side of the body on this right side view. It is called a lobe on mantle collar:
Macrochlamys amboinensisAnother view of the mantle extension shows that this specimen has two lobes; on on the right side and one on the left side. The genus can have from one to four lobes on the mantle collar.
Macrochlamys amboinensisCaudal horn on the tip of the tail. The caudal horn is not always clearly visible on Macrochlamys amboinensis, but it can be seen quite good on this photo:
Macrochlamys amboinensisTop side view:

Macrochlamys amboinensis

Four different views of the Macrochlamys amboinensis on my hand:
Macrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensisMacrochlamys amboinensis can be fed by vegetables in captivity. My snails normally consume leaves of lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata).

If you will found out other resources on this species, let me to know. This species seems to be easy to keep in captivity, so hopefully some informations about its life cycle will be available in the future.

References (in chronological order)

(in Latin and in German) von Martens E. (1864). Über eine neue Art von Rochen, Trygonoptera javanica aus Batavia und über neue Heliceen aus dem indischen Archipel. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin. 260-270, pages 266-267.

(in German) von Martens E. (1867) Die Preussische expedition nach Ost-Asien nach amtlichen Quellen. Zoologischer Theil. Zweiter Band, pages 244-245, plate 12, figure 11.

Clessin S. (1881). Nomenclator heliceorum viventium. Opus postumum Ludovici Pfeiffer. page 66.

Tryon G. W. (1886). Volume 2. Zonitidae. Manual of Conchology. Second series: Pulmonata, page 170, plate 52, figures 6-8.

Jutting W. S. V. B. (1952). Systematic studies on the non-marine mollusca of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Treubia 21(2): 291-435. doi: 10.14203/treubia.v21i2.2661, PDF.

Vermeulen J. J. (1996). Notes on terrestrial molluscs of Java, Bali and Nusa Penida. Basteria 59(4/6): 149-162.

Nhuong, D. V., & Dung, D. P. (2012). Data on land snails (Gastropoda) in Tay Trang area, Dien Bien province. TAP CHI SINH HOC, 34(4): 397-404.

Khac, H. N., Khac, H. N., & Anh, K. T. (2012). Preliminary data on lansnails (sic!) (Gastropoda) in Xom Du village, Xuan Son national park, Phu Tho province. TAP CHI SINH HOC, 32(1): 13-16.

Marwoto, R. (2017). Keong Darat dari Sumatera (Moluska, Gastropoda). ZOO INDONESIA, 25(1): 8-21.

Photo of the day (65): Ocinebrina aciculata

Ocinebrina aciculata is a marine sea snail. It belong to the family Murididae. It lives in depth 0-105 m in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere. My snail is from Croatia.

The height of the reddish brown shell is up to 18 mm. The color of the whole animal is reddish: it has reddish foot, head, tentacles and siphon. I have taken the following photos ex situ in small aquarium for photography.

Right side view of crawling Ocinebrina aciculata:
Right side view of Ocinebrina aciculata
Ventral view of crawling snail:
Ventral view of Ocinebrina aciculata
Frontal view:
Frontal view of Ocinebrina aciculata
Abapertural view:
Frontal view of Ocinebrina aciculata
Apertural view:
Frontal view of Ocinebrina aciculata
Ocinebrina aciculata in my hand, just for size overview:
Frontal view of Ocinebrina aciculata

References

Crocetta F., Bonomolo G., Albano P. G., Barco A., Houart R., & Oliverio M. (2012). The status of the northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean small mussel drills of the Ocinebrina aciculata complex (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Muricidae), with the description of a new species. Scientia Marina, 76(1), 177-189. doi: 10.3989/scimar.03395.02A

Photo of the day (64): scalarid Helix pomatia

This is a deformed shell of a common Roman snail Helix pomatia. It is called scalarid shell. This deformation happens, when the mantle of the snail is damaged during the embryonic development. Therefore such shells are unobvious and rare. It is teratological specimen in general. “Teratological” means, that it has developed abnormally during its ontogeny – during the development of the individual.

Scalarid shell of Helix pomatiaI have never seen scalarid shell of Helix pomatia by naked eye before. I have taken this photo of shell in the Waldstein Riding School, Prague. It is a part of Cabinet of curiosities in the exhibition by František Skála.

References

Horsák M., Juřičková L. & Picka J. 2013: Měkkýši České a Slovenské republiky. Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. Kabourek, Zlín, 264 pp. (in Czech and English). page 142.

Photo of the day (63): Turbinella pyrum

Turbinella pyrum is a large marine predatory snail. It belongs to the family Turbinellidae. The shell length of this species up to 150 mm.

This specimen of shell has unusual appearance, because it is a shankha. Shankha shells are religious items used in Buddhism and Hinduism. It is on display in temporary exhibition The Story of Tibet in Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague.

Shankha Turbinella pyrum shellThis shankha comes from Tibet or from Mongolia. It was used as a regilious ritual item in Tibetan Buddhism. The shell of this specimen is decorated with a metal plate, that gives the ability to use this shell as a trumpet.

References

Wikipedia contributors 2017: Shankha. accessed 29 July 2017.

Photo of the day (62): Achatinidae shells

There is a small display of shells from the family Achatinidae in one of new houses called House of Evolution in the Ostrava ZOO, Czech Republic. All Achatinidae species comes from Africa, but some of them spreaded to other continents by human activities as pests and pets.

Table with shells of AchatinidaeThere are the following species on display:
Archachatina marginata marginata from Cameroon,
Limicolaria numidica from Cameroon,
Achatina achatina from Ghana,
Limicolaria flammea from Ghana,
Archachatina marginata candefacta from Cameroon,
Achatina balteata infrafusca from Congo,
Pseudachatina connectens rollei from Cameroon,
Archachatina papyracea adelinae from Cameroon,
Archachatina puylaerti from Togo,
Archachatina porphyrostoma from Nigeria,
Archachatina marginata suturalis from Nigeria.

These are just 11 samples of the diversity of Achatinidae, that contains 176 species and subspecies.
Achatinidae shellsReferences

Protiva T. 2011: Oblovky plži čeledi Achatinidae. – Robimaus, 72 pp., ISBN 9788087293225. page 6. (in Czech)