Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A new microsnail: Angustopila dominikae

The new species in the eye of a
sewing needle (Photo:B. Páll-Gergely, N. Szpisjak)
The world’s smallest known terrestrial snail has just been discovered in China. An international team of researchers found the snail while examining soil samples collected in Guangxi Province, Southern China. 

The colleagues also described six other new small species of terrestrial snails, some of which were just a little bigger than the smallest species, Angustopila dominikae, and yet these are still large snails compared to the tiniest known species, Ammonicera minortalis, a marine representative half the size of our newcomer.

The new species is named after the wife of the first author.

For the experts: Seven new species of Hypselostomatidae are described from the Chinese province Guangxi: Angustopila dominikae Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n., A. fabella Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n., A. subelevata Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n., A. szekeresi Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n., Hypselostoma socialis Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n., H. lacrima Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n. and Krobylos sinensis Páll-Gergely & Hunyadi, sp. n. The latter species is reported from three localities. All other new species are known only from the type locality. Specimens nearly identical to the type specimens of Angustopila huoyani Jochum, Slapnik & Páll-Gergely, 2014 were found in a cave in northern Guangxi, 500 km from the type locality. Adult individuals of Angustopila subelevata sp. n. (shell height = 0.83–0.91 mm, mean = 0.87 mm) and A. dominikae sp. n. (shell height of the holotype = 0.86 mm) represent the smallest known members of the Hypselostomatidae, and thus are amongst the smallest land snails ever reported. We note that Pyramidula laosensis Saurin, 1953 might also belong to Krobylos. Paraboysidia neglecta van Benthem Jutting, 1961, which was previously included in Angustopila, is classified in Hypselostoma.

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