Saturday, 9 August 2014

Two new species of Cyclophoroid Land Snails from Thailand and Peninsula Malaysia.

The Cyclophoroidea are a large and diverse group of terrestrial Gastropods, occupying a range of ecological niches from species that live entirely below the soil surface to species that spend their entire life cycles within the tree canopy. The Snails are disk or turban shaped, often with the final whorl partially disconnected from the rest of the shell, and the Snails are able to seal this with a calcareous operculum.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 30 May 2014, Chirasak Sutcharit, Piyoros Tongkerd and Somsak Panha of the Animal Systematics Research Unit at the Department of Biology at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok describe two new species of Cyclophoroid Land Snails  from Thailand and Peninsula Malaysia; both are placed in the genus Pterocyclos, with the descriptions forming part of a wider study of the genus in the area.

The first new species is named Pterocyclos diluvium, meaning ‘flood’, in commemoration of the devastating floods suffered in Thailand in 2011, the worst floods in the recorded history of the country. Pterocyclos diluvium has a flattened shell which reaches about 35 mm in width, and can be plain white, plain brown or have a zigzagged pattern. It was found living on limestone substrates in Trang, Patthalung, Satun, Krabi, and Songkhla Provinces in Thailand and Perlis and Kedah States in Malaysia.

Pterocyclos diluvium specimens from (L, M) Tam Sumano in Patthalung Province, Thailand, and (N) Gua Cenderawasih in Perlis State, Malaysia. Sutcharit et al. (2014).

The second new species is named Pterocyclos frednaggsi, in honour of malacologist Fredd Naggs of the Natural History Museum in London, for his enthusiastic support of Land Snail research in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Pterocyclos frednaggsi has a flattened shell reaching about 29 mm in width, dark brown in colour with a zigzag pattern of the early whorls. It was found living on limestone substrates in Pahang and Kelanta States in Malaysia.

Pterocyclos frednaggsi specimens from (Q, R) Bukit Chintamanis in Pahang State, and (S) Gua Musang in Kelanta State, Malaysia. Sutcharit et al. (2014).

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