Newly described snails may already be extinct


Five new species of tateid snails have been described from Lake Matano in Sulawesi.

Words: Nathan Hill

Sulawesidrobia wilson sp. nov, S. carsonae sp. nov, S. ehrlichi sp. nov, S. crutzeni sp. nov., and S. dinersteini sp. nov., were all discovered in the lake between 2003 and 2005, and were described on the basis of shell morphology, anatomy and phylogenetic analysis.

Sadly, return visits to the lake through 2018 and 2019 failed to turn up a single specimen of any species, leading to the fear that some populations (and perhaps even entire species) have been driven to extinction by non-native, South American hybrid flowerhorn cichlids that have been released into the lake. Other theories for their absence include heavy eutrophication of the lake in recent years. Their absence is noted by the choice of species names, with each acknowledging an important conservationist.

Read the full article in the open access journal European Journal of Taxonomy at: