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 (59): Semilimax semilimax

Semilimax semilimax is a semi-slug with central European and Alpine distribution. It lives in moist forests. It is from the family Vitrinidae.

Left side view:
Semilimax semilimaxRight side view:
Semilimax semilimaxWhen I found those gastropods, I though, that I found two different species. Unfortunately all of them are the same species – Semilimax semilimax. I realized that in the lab some time later.

Six semi-slugs, five dark grey, one light grey and all of them are Semilimax semilimax:
Semilimax semilimaxIt is exactly as Welter Schultes wrote: “Animal light to dark grey”. They can vary in color even in one population as it is documented in this my record from central Moravia.

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 34 and page 111.

Welter Schultes F. (2013) Species summary for Semilimax semilimax. AnimalBase, last change 11 December 2013, accessed 28 November 2016.

Photo of the day (55): Oxychilus glaber

Oxychilus glaber is a species of a herbivorous and carnivorous land snail in the family Oxychilidae. Its distribution is South European and Central European. It live in woods. Its umbilicus is narrow and its spire is high in comparison with other Oxychilus species.

My snail comes from the Czech Republic. It is not common species. It is nearly threatened in the Czech Republic and it is threatened with extinction in Germany.

Right side view:

Oxychilus glaberApical view:

Oxychilus glaberReferences

Species summary for Oxychilus glaber. AnimalBase, last change 8 December 2013, accessed 14 September 2016.

Beran L., Juřičková L. & Horsák M. 2005: Mollusca (měkkýši), pp. 69-74. – In: Farkač J., Král D. & Škorpík M. [eds.], Červený seznam ohrožených druhů České republiky. Bezobratlí. Red list of threatened species in the Czech Republic. Invertebrates. – Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, Praha, 760 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 34 and page 108.

Wiese W. (2014) Die Landschnecken Deutschlands: Finden – Erkennen – Bestimmen. Quelle & Meyer, 352 pp., page 188.

Photo of the day (51): Elisolimax from Madagascar

The photo of this land slug is from the tropical moist forest in northern Madagascar. It was identified according to the photo only. It is either Elisolimax bella or Elisolimax madagascariensis. Genus Elisolimax belong to the family Helicarionidae.

Locality: Madagascar, tropical moist forest, between Joffreville village and the entrance to the Amber Mountain National Park, coordinates: -12.502470, 49.201356, November 15, 2014. Photo by Martin Mandák.

I thank to Martin Mandák from the Czech Republic for taking the photo.

I thank to Owen Griffiths from Mauritius for the slug identification.

Elisolimax from Madagascar. Photo by Martin Mandák, CC-BY-4.0.

Elisolimax from Madagascar. Photo by Martin Mandák, CC-BY-4.0.

 

Photo of the day (49): Ambigolimax valentianus

Ambigolimax valentianus is a land slug from the family Limacidae. Its native distribution includes Iberian Peninsula only, but it is spreading in many other countries as an invasive species. It can live in greenhouses and similar habitats in cold areas only. It lives in greenhouses in Central Europe too. It is a pest in greenhouses and it is able to overpopulate and then it can be a serious pest. It can reach the length up to 70 mm.

Various views of the slug:

Ambigolimax valentianus

Ambigolimax valentianus

Ambigolimax valentianus

Ambigolimax valentianusThe foot is light gray:

Ambigolimax valentianusThere exist two forms of Ambigolimax valentianus: a form with two dark lateral bands and a a spotted form. The spotted form looks like this. It looks a bit yellow on the photo, but it is caused by the sunglight.

Ambigolimax valentianusIts eggs look like this. I found those eggs below the bowl for the potted plant.

Ambigolimax valentianusNotice the juvenile slug in the front. It is interesting that its egss will not survive temperatures above 33 °C.

A juvenile slug:

Ambigolimax valentianusAnother photo with juvenile slugs:

Ambigolimax valentianusThis species is also known as Lehmannia valentiana. In fact I did not known, that it could be placed in the genus Ambigolimax up today.

So I searched for reasons of its generic placement:

Klee et al. found out based on molecular phylogeny research of cytochrome-c oxidase I (COI) genes, that the genus Lehmannia is diphyletic in 2005. She also repeated the information in her thesis in 2013.

Rowson et al. confirmed such placement also according to the COI genes analysis in 2014. By the way, they did not comment this species in the PLoS article anyhow. They just shown the cladogram on the figure 5.

The results are:

Lehmannia marginata (O. F. Müller, 1774) still belong to the genus Lehmannia Heynemann, 1863, because it is the type species of the genus.

Lehmannia valentiana (Férussac, 1822) belong to the genus Ambigolimax Pollonera, 1887 as a Ambigolimax valentiana (Férussac, 1822). It is the type species of the genus Ambigolimax.

Lehmannia nyctelia (Bourguignat, 1861) also belong to the genus Ambigolimax as Ambigolimax nyctelius (Bourguignat, 1861).

There is a question, where will belong other 13 European species of Lehmannia. Especially those ones, whose reproductive system is not known.

References

Horsák M., Dvořák L. & Juřičková L. (2004) Greenhouse gastropods of the Czech Republic: current stage of research. Malacological Newsletter, 22: 141–147, page 143.

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 163.

Klee B., Falkner G. & Haszprunar G (2005). Endemic radiations of Limax (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora) slugs in Corsica – they came twice. In: Burckhardt D (ed.), 8. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für biologische Systematik, Basel 13.-16. September 2005, Abstracts of talks and posters: p.78. Basel (Naturhistorisches Museum). Organisms Diversity and Evolution 5, Electr. Suppl. 13: 75.

Nitz. B. (2013). Integrative systematics and biogeography of Limax (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora). Dissertation Thesis, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, 133 pp., page 105.

Rowson B., Anderson R., Turner J. & Symondson W. O. C. (2014). The slugs of Britain and Ireland: undetected and undescribed species increase a well-studied, economically important fauna by more than 20%. PLoS ONE 9(4): e91907. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091907

Stojnić B., Vukša M., Jokić G. & Čkrkić M. (2011). First record of introduced valencia slug, Lehmannia valentiana (Férussac, 1822), in Serbia. Pesticidi i fitomedicina, 26(3): 213–220. doi:10.2298/PIF1103213S

Udaka H., Mori M., Goto S. G. & Numata H. (2007). Seasonal reproductive cycle in relation to tolerance to high temperatures in the terrestrial slug Lehmannia valentiana. Invertebrate Biology, 126(2): 154–162.

Photo of the day (46): Tandonia rustica and Tandonia kusceri

Updated on July 8, 2016.

Tandonia rustica is a land slug with Central European and South European distribution.

Its native distribution include Bohemia such as this juvenile one from the Northern Bohemia:

Tandonia rusticaIt has small dots.

Its coloration differ slightly from other Tandonia species. These slugs from Bratislava City in Slovakia are Tandonia kusceri. It is non-indigenous in Slovakia.

a group of Tandonia rustica

dorsal view of a Tandonia rusticaReferences

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 34 and page 113.

Korábek O., Čejka T. & Juřičková L. (2016): Tandonia kusceri (Pulmonata: Milacidae), a slug new for Slovakia. – Malacologica Bohemoslovaca, 15: 3–8.

Photo of the day (43): Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa is a clausiliid living in forests on limestone rocks. Its shell measure up to 9.5 mm and it is the smallest species in the genus Clausilia.

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

The locality is Průchodnice Nature Reserve in the Czech Republic. It is a deciduous forest reserve with European beech Fagus sylvatica on limestone rocks. There are also remnants of caves by Upper Paleolithic men (Magdalenian culture). It is a nice reserve especially in April:

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

Clausilia rugosa

References

Hlaváč J. Č. (2002) Molluscan fauna of the Javoříčský Karst (Czech Republic, central Moravia). Malacological Newsletter, 20: 93–105.

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 89.

Photo of the day (41): veronicellid slug from Madagascar

My colleague Martin Mandák has sent me the photo of a land slug from Madagascar. Locality: Madagascar, November 2014.

veronicellid from Madagascar

a veronicellid slug, photo by Martin Mandák, CC-BY-4.0

Identification of the family was easy: slugs of the family Veronicellidae looks exactly like this. The common English name is the the leatherleaf slugs and this one really looks like a fallen leaf. But the identification of the species is usually uneasy for all of its members. I have only the photo and therefore the dissection and molecular identification methods are unavailable.

Few possibilities what it could be:

Laevicaulis alte. This species is known from Madagascar, it is an agricultural pest and some photos on the internet looks similar to this coloration pattern.

Semperula maculata. This species is also known from Madagascar, it is an agricultural pest and one photo on the internet looks similar to this coloration pattern.

Or it can be anything else.

References

Gerlach J. (1998) “The shell-less slugs of Seychelles (Veronicellidae and Urocyclidae)“. Argonauta 11(2): 56-64.

Laevicaulis alte (Férussac, 1821).” Discover Life, accessed 14 January 2015.

Photo of the day (37): Helicopsis striata

Helicopsis striata is an interesting species. This land snail live in glacial loess steppe habitats. It lives on such habitats since ice ages. Steppes are fragmented and changed by people but this species can not live elsewhere. This means that it is a glacial relict.

It is extinct in France, it is critically endangered in Germany, in Austria, in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. It is endangered in Poland. But it lives in large areas in Europe and it is considered as Least Concern species.

The width of the shell of this specimen is 7.5 mm and the height of the shell is 5 mm.

Helicopsis striataHelicopsis striata 02

Helicopsis striata 03

I have taken the previous three photos in the laboratory and the following photos in situ.

The steppe habitat – Čenkov steppe in Slovakia:
Helicopsis striata 04 habitat

A more closer look shows few shells of Helicopsis striata and another rare species – a plant Ephedra distachya in the top right:
Helicopsis striata 05 habitat

Helicopsis striata 06

Helicopsis striata 07

Helicopsis striata 08

Helicopsis striata 09

References

Species summary for Helicopsis striata. AnimalBase, last change 4 January 2014,accessed 29 October 2014.

Beran L., Juřičková L. & Horsák M. 2005: Mollusca (měkkýši), pp. 69-74. – In: Farkač J., Král D. & Škorpík M. [eds.], Červený seznam ohrožených druhů České republiky. Bezobratlí. Red list of threatened species in the Czech Republic. Invertebrates. – Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR, Praha, 760 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). pages 133-134.

von Proschwitz, T. & Neubert, E. 2013. Helicopsis striata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 29 October 2014.

Stępczak K. Helicopsis striata (O.F. Müller, 1774). Polish Red Data Book of Animals, accessed 29 October 2014.