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)

Photo of the day (61): Ena montana

Ena montana is a species of a common land snail with Central European, Alpine and Carpathian distribution. It belong to the family Enidae. It is similar to Merdigera obscura, but they differ in size. Ena montana reach shell length up to 16 mm, while Merdigera obscura can grown up to 9 mm only.

Left side view of Ena montana crawling on a calcareous rock:

Ena montanaIt is the only species of Ena occurring in Central Europe. Other Ena species live in southern Europe.

My specimen comes from Velká Fatra Mountains, Slovakia. I have taken the photo in situ on a calcareous rock in the forest. But they also inhabits humid habitats in forests in lowlands.

It feeds mainly on living algae, sometimes on dead higher plants and rarely also on lichens.

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 32 and 82.

Photo of the day (60): shell headdress from New Guinea

This is an original tribal ceremonial men’s feather and shell headdress from Tambanum village on the Sepik River, East Sepik Province, northern Papua New Guinea. It was made in 19th century. It was shown in the exhibition “Crown jewels in the world’s history” in Ostrava museum at December 9, 2016 – March 5, 2017. It comes from the private collection of goldsmith Jürgen Abeler, owner of the Wuppertaler Uhrenmuseum, that was closed in 2016. The headdress is in the collection of Juwelier Abeler company (juwelier means jeweler) in Wuppertal now. I was happy to see it because it was the only thing on the exhibition, that contained shells.

feather and shell headdressLeft side view:
feather and shell headdressLarger shells are some species from the family Cypraeidae. It is probably Monetaria moneta, a common species, that was used as a shell money in various parts of the world including the New Guinea.

headdressThe smaller shells are also from marine gastropods, but I did not identify the species. Some headbands and other things from the area contain the same shells that are called “Nassa shells”. This does not mean the genus Nassa from the family Muricidae. It may mean some species from the family Nassariidae, that are commonly known as “Nassa mud snails”.

Other things of the headdress include feathers of a cassowary (Casuarius). There exist three extant species of cassowaries and all of them live in New Guinea. All of them have black feathers. According to the locality of the headdress and the distribution of cassowaries, feathers probably comes from the northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) or from the dwarf cassowary (Casuarius bennetti).

There are also used animal teeth and number of strings.

Right side view:
feather and shell headdressI also do not know what is the material, from which “eyes” of this headdress were made. It looks like the same thing on the ancestor’s figure.

Such headdresses were and are used to emphasize the status of the owner. They are worn usually in festivals.

One more oblique view:
feather and shell headdressThe headdress also closely resembles for example feathered headdress for ancestor’s skull made by Asmat people.

That’s all. And if you can identify those small shells, let me to know. Thanks.