Photo of the day (85): dress with cowries

This is a Native American woman’s dress with cowrie shells.

The dress is on display in the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures in Prague. It is a part of the temporary exhibition Indians in 2017-2019.

dress with cowrie shellsIt is a woman’s dress made of cotton. The bodice is decorated with six lines of cowrie shells (family Cypraeidae). They are probably shells of money cowrie Monetaria moneta, that is the most common cowrie.

dress with cowrie shellsThe dress is from the first half of the 20th century. It comes from the Western Plains Indians. According to the Museum staff is was made by Crows or by Cheyennes. Shells comes from the Indo-Pacific tropical waters and therefore they were imported to the Great Plains.

There is also a belt made of hide and of cloth. There were used porcupine quills in the embroidery of the belt:
dress with cowrie shellsSuch cowries decorations were used also by other Native American tribes, including for example Sioux. Decorating by Crows with elk teeth looks very similar. Elk teeth were probably used in times when cowries were not available yet.

The same style of the dress is shown for example on this 1904 photo:

Cheyenne baby in dress with cowrie shells

1904 photo of Cheyenne baby by American photographer Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942). Public domain. It comes from the website of Missouri Historical Society.

It depicts the Cheyenne baby. There are only four rows of cowrie shells. It seems that there are money cowrie Monetaria moneta shells too, but there are also some ring cowrie Monetaria annulus shells on the right sleeve and on the right part of the dress (on the left part on the photo).

References

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Photo of the day (84): Recluzia lutea

Recluzia lutea (Bennett, 1840), synonym: Recluzia rollandiana Petit de la Saussaye, 1853, is a species of a marine pelagic snail. This means that this snail does not live on the sea bottom, but it lives in the water column. Surprisingly this snail has no swimming fins. This species does not live in the whole water column, but in its the most upper part, closer to the surface level. Therefore it is a part of neuston and such gastropods are called neustonic gastropods. Simply said: Recluzia lutea float on the sea surface. There is also the term ‘plankton’ used for these gastropods: that means it is only able to drift and it cannot swim against the water current. This species is holoplanktonic, which means that it is planktonic for its entire life. It live under a raft-like float made from air bubbles and mucus. It has not yet been observed how the float is constructed by Recluzia.

Recluzia lutea

Shells of Recluzia lutea. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

These shells of Recluzia lutea were found way up in the Matinhos River, Paraná state, in southern Brazil, after a storm event, and sent to the Zoology museum in São Paulo.

References

Beu A. G. 2017: Evolution of Janthina and Recluzia (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Epitoniidae). Records of the Australian Museum, 69(3): 119–222. DOI: 10.3853/j.2201-4349.69.2017.1666

S. van der Spoel, L.J. Newman & K.W. Estep (accessed December 13, 2018) Recluzia rollandiana. Marine Species Identification Portal.

Photo of the day (83): Pleurodonte isabella

Pleurodonte isabella (Férussac, 1822) is a neotropical land snail from the family Pleurodontidae. It is also known as “Pleurodonte sp. Barbados” among snail pet keepers. It is variable in color: it can be brown, yellow, orange, blue or purple.

Pleurodonte isabellaIt is endemic to Barbados. It is widespread and abundant there. It inhabits natural environment as well as disturbed habitats. There is wet season and dry season in Barbados. Temperature ranges from 21 to 31 °C. But snails keepers recommend to keep this species in temperature 22-24 °C and in humidity 70-80 %.

It is herbivorous species. It is nuisance occasionally when it eats gingers Zingiber sp. and heliconias Heliconia sp. flowers. It was also reported as a pest on Citrus.

Various right side views:
Pleurodonte isabellaPleurodonte isabellaPleurodonte isabellaI also tested, if Pleurodonte isabella eat Canna indica ‘Auguste Ferrier’. It is cultivated variety with reddish leaves. This flower occurs in the same areas as Pleurodonte isabella, but it has molluscicidal activity. Various extracts of Canna indica kills freshwater molluscs, because it is nerve agent to them. I found that, that Pleurodonte isabella avoid eating this plant in terrarium. So it seems that they are clever enough to not poison itself.

The width of the shell of this specimen is 18 mm, the height of the shell is 13 mm.

Umbilical view:
Pleurodonte isabellaI did not identify this species by myself. I was able to get some information about ecology of Pleurodonte isabella, but I failed to get information about proper identification of the species. I am glad that an expert in Neotropical malacolofauna helped me in identification/verification.

References

Ciomperlik M. A. , Robinson D. G., Gibbs I. H. , Fields A., Stevens T. & Taylor B. M. (2013). Mortality to the Giant African Snail, Lissachatina fulica (Gastropoda: Achatinidae), and Non-Target Snails using Select Molluscicides. Florida Entomologist, 96(2): 370-379. DOI: 10.1653/024.096.0257.

Pollard G. V. & Alleyne E. H. (1986). Insect pests as constraints to the production of fruits in the Caribbean. In: Pests and Diseases as Constraints in the Production and Marketing of Fruits in the Caribbean. IICA, 31-61. page 43.

Tripathi, S. M., & Singh, D. K. (2000). Molluscicidal activity of Punica granatum bark and Canna indica root. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 33(11): 1351-1355. DOI: 10.1590/S0100-879X2000001100014.

Tripathi, S. M., Singh, V. K., Singh, S., & Singh, D. K. (2004). Enzyme inhibition by the molluscicidal agent Punica granatum Linn. bark and Canna indica Linn. root. Phytotherapy Research, 18(7), 501-506. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1168.

https://pleurodonteisabella.wordpress.com/pleurodonte-isabella-in-captivity/ Accessed December 8, 2018.

https://pleurodonteisabella.wordpress.com/breeding-pleurodonte-isabella/ Accessed December 8, 2018.

Photo of the day (82): Palaeotachea

These are photos of a shell of a snail from the genus Palaeotachea from the Early or Middle Miocene of the Pfaffenhofen district in Bavaria, Germany. I thank my friend and paleomalacologist Rodrigo B. Salvador who has kindly shared the following photos. Paleomalacologist is a biologist who study prehistoric molluscs.

The genus Palaeotachea belongs to the subfamily Helicinae, within the well known family Helicidae. All species of the genus Palaeotachea lived in the Early or in the Middle Miocene and all of them are extinct now. There are recognized at least 11 species within the genus. It was hypothetized that Palaeotachea species lived in habitats varying from from scrublands to humid woods. In the middle of the Middle Miocene something happened and all Palaeotachea species died out. Instead of them other species from the other genus – Megalotachea sylvestrina also from the family Helicidae – started to thrive.

This certain shell is possibly Palaeotachea silvana. That means it is an interesting species worth to know for everybody who is interested in Tertiary of Europe.

Palaeotachea

Apertural view of Palaeotachea. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

Palaeotachea

Apertural view of Palaeotachea. It is the previous image rotated to the main position. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

When will you rotate the image into the main or standard position like this, you can much more easily measure the width and the height of the shell. The width of this shell is about 21 mm.

Palaeotachea

Apical view of Palaeotachea. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

Palaeotachea

Apical view of Palaeotachea. It is just rotated the previous image. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

So what’s interesting in Palaeotachea silvana?

Palaeotachea silvana (Klein, 1853) is an extinct species, that has lived in Middle Miocene.

The specific name silvana is an adjective of the Latin word silva, that means forest or wood. Unfortunately I do not know why the author has chosen this specific name. It was described by physician of the German army (Generalstabsarzt, it is a second highest military rank for physicians in the army) and naturalist Adolf von Klein (1805–1891 or 1892) from Kingdom of Württemberg (now Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany). The description was published in local journal Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg that could be translated as Yearbook of the Association for Natural History in Württemberg. He described this species under the name Helix silvana in 1853. Later other names were used for this species: Cepaea silvana (Klein, 1853) and Megalotachea silvana (Klein, 1853). These names are considered as synonyms.

Helix crepidostoma Sandberger, 1872 is the type species of the genus Palaeotachea. But the Palaeotachea silvana can be considered as the most important species of the genus. Palaeotachea silvana is an index fossil. Index fossil is a species that is a common and widely distributed in a certain relatively short period. Palaeotachea silvana is an index fossil of Silvana Beds. It is also spelled Silvana-beds, and Silvanaschichten or Silvanakalk in German language. Silvana Beds got its name directly after this species. Palaeotachea silvana is most commonly found fossil in Silvana Beds. Silvana Beds’ range is from 15.8 to 13.8 myr (millions years ago). This means that range of Silvana Beds approximately correspond to older part of the Middle Miocene. Palaeotachea silvana is known at least from the following countries: Hungary, Austria, Baden-Württemberg in Germany and Bavaria in Germany.

The width is some shells of Palaeotachea silvana usually reach about 22 mm, but unusually big shells may have shell width up to 28 mm. There are sometimes visible by naked eye or under the UV light two or three bands on shells of Palaeotachea silvana, but this specimen has no bands. The shell has 4 – 4½ whorls. For other details about shell description see both works Salvador et al. 2015.

The mean annual temperature in the Central Europe in the Middle Miocene was about 19 °C. Yes, it was really hot those days.

References (sorted chronologically, newest first)

Höltke, O.; Salvador, R. B.; Rasser, M. W. 2018. Miocene continental gastropods from the southern margin of the Swabian Alb (Baden-Württemberg, SW Germany). Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie, Abhandlungen 287(1): 17–44. DOI: 10.1127/njgpa/2018/0704.

Salvador, R. B.; Höltke, O.; Rasser, M. W. 2018. Miocene continental gastropods from Dischingen, Germany. Palaeodiversity 11(1): 11–19. DOI: 10.18476/pale.11.a2.

Salvador, R. B.; Tütken, T.; Tomotani, B. M.; Berthold, C.; Rasser, M. W. 2018. Paleoecological and isotopic analysis of fossil continental mollusks of Sandelzhausen (Miocene, Germany). Paläontologische Zeitschrift 92(3): 395–409. DOI: 10.1007/s12542-017-0400-6.

Salvador, R. B. & Rasser, M. W. 2017. Fossil terrestrial and freshwater Gastropoda from the Early/Middle Miocene of Heuchlingen, Germany. Archiv für Molluskenkunde 146(2): 233–241. DOI: 10.1127/arch.moll/146/233-241.

Salvador, R. B.; Höltke, O.; Rasser, M. W. 2017. Fossil land and freshwater gastropods from the Miocene of Hohenmemmingen, Germany. Palaeodiversity 10: 41–48. DOI: 10.18476/pale.v10.a4.

Höltke, O.; Salvador, R. B.; Rasser, M. W. 2016. Paleobiogeography of Early/Middle Miocene terrestrial gastropods in Central Europe: an approach using similarity indices. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 461: 224–236. DOI: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.08.027.

Salvador, R. B. & Rasser, M. W. 2016. Fossil land and freshwater gastropods from the Middle Miocene of Bechingen and Daugendorf, southwestern Germany. Archiv für Molluskenkunde 145(1): 111–124. DOI: 10.1127/arch.moll/1869-0963/145/111-124.

Salvador, R. B. & Rasser, M. W. 2016. The fossil land and freshwater snails of Oggenhausen (Middle Miocene, Germany). Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 19(1): 41–52. DOI: 10.4072/rbp.2016.1.04.

Salvador, R. B.; Höltke, O.; Rasser, M. W.; Kadolsky, D. 2016. Annotated type catalogue of the continental fossil gastropods in the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany. Palaeodiversity 9: 15–70. DOI: 10.18476/pale.v9.a3.

Salvador, R. B.; Pippèrr, M.; Reichenbacher, B.; Rasser, M. W. 2016. Early Miocene continental gastropods from new localities of the Molasse Basin in southern Germany. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 90(3): 469–491. DOI: 10.1007/s12542-016-0291-y.

Salvador, R. B.; Prieto, J.; Mayr, C.; Rasser, M. W. 2016. New gastropod assemblages from the Early/Middle Miocene of Riedensheim and Adelschlag-Fasanerie, southern Germany. Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Palaontologie, Abhandlungen 279(2): 127–154. DOI: 10.1127/njgpa/2016/0546.

Salvador, R. B.; Rasser, M. W.; Höltke, O. 2015. Fossil gastropods from Miocene Lake Randeck Maar and its hinterland (SW Germany). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen, 277(3): 251–273. DOI: 10.1127/njgpa/2015/0505.

Salvador, R. B.; Sach, V. J.; Valentas-romera, B. L. 2015. The fossil continental mollusks in the Upper Freshwater Molasse (Middle Miocene) of the districts of Biberach, Ravensburg and Neu-Ulm, Germany. Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia 18(2): 201–216. DOI: 10.4072/rbp.2015.2.02.

Klein A. v. 1853. Conchylien der Süßwasserkalkformation Württembergs. – Jahreshefte des Vereins für vaterländische Naturkunde in Württemberg, 9: 203–223. Plate 5, figure 2.

2018 exhibition of invertebrates in Charles University in Prague

There was an exhibition of live invertebrates in Botanical garden of Charles University in Prague in June 2018. The exhibition was named “Big exhibition of invertebrates”. It deserve such name. It focus on invertebrates from the Czech Republic and there were numerous of them.

Big exhibition of invertebratesBig exhibition of invertebrates
There were also number of visitors. I liked to see visitor’s faces when they became surprised by the size or appearance of some animals. Children are always fascinated by animals. Also adults were fascinated by insect and other invertebrates which they never seen before. It was common to hear parents saying things like this to children: “These caterpillars are so cool!!! I have to take a photo of you with them!” And so on.

Big exhibition of invertebratesMolluscs are also invertebrates so there were some freshwater bivalves and freshwater gastropods and land gastropods:

GastropodsGastropodsThere was also an interesting species associated with gastropods. There were the following Succinea putris amber snails crawling on a Petri dish:

Succinea putris with Leucochloridium paradoxumTwo Succinea putris snails. Each of them has one Leucochloridium paradoxum in the left tentacle.

There is a parasite inside the tentacle of these snails. The parasite is a trematode species with the name Leucochloridium paradoxum. They have a life cycle with the intermediate host like other trematodes. The intermediate host of Leucochloridium paradoxum are Succinea snails. When the snail eat a dropping from an infected bird, the parasite will start to grow in the snail’s body. The parasite extends a part of its body into a tentacle of the snail. Then the tentacle looks like a caterpillar and it is pulsating to attract attention of birds. When a trust bird (family Turdidae) will eat the infected snail, the life cycle is complete.

It was the third year of this exhibition and I highly recommend to visit it next time.

References

Velká výstava bezobratlých 2018

Photo of the day (81): Helicina inaequistriata

Helicina inaequistriata is a species of a land snail from South America. This species is known from Brazil only. It belong to the family Helicinidae that is distributed in tropical and subtropical countries.

I thank my friend and colleague Rodrigo B. Salvador who has kindly shared the following photos for readers of this blog:

Helicina inaequistriata alt

Two live Helicina inaequistriata snails from Cabo Frio Island, Brazil. Photo by Salvador et al., CC-BY-4.0.

These photos accomplish the 2014 article by Rodrigo B. Salvador and his colleagues published in the Check List journal.

The right snail in the above image is the one already mentioned in the paper as a lot stored in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil under the catalog number MZSP 115369. Its shell was depicted on figures 3-6. The width of the shell is 9.4 mm. The height of the shell is 6.6 mm.

The following photo is slightly bigger one than on a published plate:

Helicina inaequistriata shell

Four views of the shell of Helicina inaequistriata. Photo by Rodrigo B. Salvador, CC-BY-4.0.

The following image show umbilical view of the shell of Helicina inaequistriata and ventral view of the snail. It shows its extended foot and its tentacles with the position of eyes.

Helicina inaequistriata

Helicina inaequistriata. Photo by Salvador et al., CC-BY-4.0.

Such tentacles of a land snail resemble for example Pomatias land snails from Europe, but they are not closely related. While the Helicina from the family Helicinidae belongs to the subclass Neritimorpha, the Pomatias from the family Pomatiidae belongs to the subclass Caenogastropoda. It is a nice example that snails have likely become terrestrial animals more than once during the evolution of gastropods. (At least nine times in fact.)

References

Salvador R. B., Silva N. G., Alves R. J. V., Moura R. L. & Simone L. R. L. 2014: New records of Helicina inaequistriata (Gastropoda: Helicinidae) from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo states, Brazil. Check List 10(4): 936-938. doi: 10.15560/10.4.936.

Photo of the day (80): Tonna galea 2

Tonna galea is a large sea snail, that belongs to the family Tonnidae. It is family of predatory gastropods.

My Tonna galea is from southern Croatia.

Video of crawling Tonna galea on the sand in an aquarium (there is no audio):

Another video of the same Tonna galea (no audio):

The frontal view of Tonna galea usually looks like this:

Tonna galeaWhile this is the view of the same specimen of Tonna galea with extended proboscis:

Tonna galea with extended proboscisProboscis is the darker part coming from its head.

Proboscis is a prehensile tube and there is a mouth at the end of the proboscis. Therefore it is an important part of the body of the sea snail. Proboscis is well innervated (there are nerves inside the wall of proboscis) and there are glands next to the proboscis. I found no exact measurements of the proboscis of such big Tonna galea sea snails in the literature.

References

Simone L. R. L. de 1995: Anatomical study on Tonna galea (Linné, 1758) and Tonna maculosa (Dillwyn, 1817) (Mesogastropoda, Tonnoidea, Tonnidae) from Brazilian region. Malacologia 37(1): 23-32.

2018 exhibition of molluscs of Vysočina Region in Museum of Highlands

There is an exhibition of molluscs of Vysočina Region in Jihlava. The exhibition is held in Museum of Highlands (Muzeum Vysočiny Jihlava) in Jihlava from April 27 to June 10.

The exhibition is quite unique, because it focus on local malacofauna of the Vysočina region. No other exhibition about non-marine molluscs of the Czech Republic or of its part was held yet.

I thank to Pavel Bezděčka, the curator, who provided following photos of the exhibition.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Exhibition of molluscs of Vysočina Region. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of various freshwater snails. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of freshwater snails. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of land snails. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of various small species of land snails. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Helix thessalica, Helix pomatia and Cepaea hortensis shells. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Sinistral and normal dextral shell of Helix pomatia. Normal dextral and sinistral Cepaea hortensis. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Examples of historical publications of molluscs of Vysočina Region are represented mainly by works by Hans Canon. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Examples of recent research publications about molluscs of Vysočina Region. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

One of 14 panels at the exhibition. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Information panels and shells of freshwater snails. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Slugs are on photos only. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

There is also an aquarium with live gastropods. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

There are also shells of bivalves Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of bivalves. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Exhibition of molluscs of Vysočina Region. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

Molluscs of Vysočina Region

Shells of bivalves. Photo by Pavel Bezděčka, CC-By-4.0.

References

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Photo of the day (79): Syrinx aruanus

Syrinx aruanus is a species of extant gastropod with the largest shell. The height of the shell can be up 72.2 cm. The largest specimen is stored in the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The volume of the animal is also very large. It is thought to be more voluminous than the largest extinct snail Campanile giganteum.

Syrinx aruanus is a marine sea snail and it belong to the family Turbinellidae.

I thank Jan Linhart, who has taken the photo of the shell in the Phuket Sea shell Museum, Thailand. I do not know exact measurements of this shell.

Syrinx aruanus

Shell of Syrinx aruanus in the Phuket Sea shell Museum. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

Specimen of the shell height 91 cm was previously reported in the literature, but the reported size was wrong.

It may be also the heaviest extant snail (reaching up to 18 kg?), but I found no proper reference.

What are the limits of gastropods?

References

McClain C. R., Balk M. A., Benfield M. C., Branch T. A, Chen C., Cosgrove J., Dove A. D. M., Gaskins L. C., Helm R. R., Hochberg F. G., Lee F. B., Marshall A., McMurray S. E., Schanche C., Stone S. N. & Thaler A. D. 2015: Sizing ocean giants: patterns of intraspecific size variation in marine megafauna. – PeerJ 3:e715.  DOI: 10.7717/peerj.715.

Taylor J. D. & Glover E. A. 2003: Food of giants – field observations on the diet of
Syrinx aruanus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Turbinellidae) the largest living gastropod. pp. 217-223. – In: Wells F. E., Walker D. I. & Jones D. S. (eds) 2003: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Gastropods in Phuket Sea shell Museum

Phuket Sea shell Museum is located at the south of the Phuket Island in Thailand.

I thank to Jan Linhart who has taken these photos of shells in the Phuket Sea shell Museum.

Collection of shells of sea snails from the family Haliotidae:

Haliotidae

Shells of Haliotidae. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

Collection of shells of sea snails from the family Costellariidae:

Costellariidae

Shells of Costellariidae. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

Collection of shells of sea snails from the family Terebridae:

Terebridae

Shells of Terebridae. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

Stages of growth of the Charonia tritonis from the family Ranellidae:

Charonia tritonis

Stages of growth of the Charonia tritonis. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

Stages of growth of the Turbinella pyrum from the family Turbinellidae:

Turbinella pyrum

Stages of growth of the Turbinella pyrum. Photo by Jan Linhart, http://www.linhartmarketing.cz/, CC-BY-4.0.

There are also other shells of gastropods and other shells of molluscs, such as ammonites and bivalves in the museum. It is worth to visit.

References

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