Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A new carnivorous land snail: Perrottetia megadentata

Predatory gastropods are largely known from a large number of Species that live in the ocean. However, there are in fact a number of terrestrial predatory gastropods, land-living, air-breathing carnivorous snails and slugs.

These snails will eat worms, other snails and slugs if given the choice, but if none are available, they will eat plants. Predatory slugs and snails may eat their victims whole. If the victim is too large, then the predator will eat as much as it can and leave the rest hanging out of its mouth until the first part is digested. This can sometimes lead to a slug or earthworm being digested from it bottom up and still being alive.

Today's new species was found in Laos and was named with respect to some larger "dentition" in its shell opening.

For the experts: The family Streptaxidae in Laos is revised. Twelve species are known, mainly from limestone areas, in the genera Discartemon Pfeiffer, 1856, Perrottetia Kobelt, 1905, Haploptychius Möllendorff, 1906, and Indoartemon Forcart, 1946. Three new species, P. unidentata sp. n. and P. megadentata sp. n. from northern and central Laos, and I. diodonta sp. n. from central Laos, are described. All eight species of these three genera previously recorded from Laos are revised and discussed based on examined material from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. Type material was examined and lectotypes are designated. Details of genital anatomy and radulae are provided, including the first detailed genitalia and radula descriptions from Haploptychius. Two novelties in Streptaxidae, a vaginal caecum, and the occurrence of aphallic individuals, are reported from H. pellucens (Pfeiffer, 1863).

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