07 January 2006

Papers read this week: Basteria vol. 69

Musical accompaniment: Terry Riley: In C, played by Bang On a Can.

Basteria is the scientific journal of the Dutch Malacological Society. Usually one or two issues, comprising one volume, are published each year. Most papers are in English, some that are specifically about the malacofauna of the Netherlands tend to be in Dutch.

Both issues of the latest volume of Basteria, 69, were published at the end of November, 2005. My copies arrived near the end of December. I have found a couple of the papers especially interesting.

Heij, A. De & R.P. Baayen. Seasonal distribution of cephalopod species living in the central and southern North Sea. Basteria, 69:91-119.
Ten species of cephalopods were collected in the central and southern North Sea during 1996-2003. The seasonal distributions of individual species depend on temperature and salinity.

Two of the North Sea cephalopods: Rossia macrosoma (top) and Eledone cirrhosa.

Verdcourt, B. A new species of Vitrina (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Vitrinidae) from Kenya, with a discussion of the genus in East Africa. Basteria, 69:147-156.
The land snail family Vitrinidae contains many species of snails that have shells that are much smaller than their bodies. Such species, known as semislugs, provide important clues for the evolutionary stages that led from fully-shelled snails to full slugs, which may or may not have vestigial shells inside their bodies.

In this paper, the author describes a new vitrinid snail, Vitrina chyuluensis from an altitude of 1960 m in Kenya. All vitrinids appear to live at high altitude mountains. In a previous post, I briefly mentioned a possible evolutionary reason for the displacement of semislugs to high altitudes.

The shell of the holotype of Vitrina chyuluensis.

Photos are from the cited papers.

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