09 October 2006

Land snails of Turkey: genus Sprattia

Sprattia is a genus of land snails (family Clausiliidae) endemic to southern Turkey. The genus was named after the British Admiral T. Spratt who visited southern Turkey in the 1840s and collected the snail shells that were later used by the German malacologists Pfeiffer and Boettger to describe many new species and genera (for example: Boettger, O. 1883. On new Clausiliae from the Levant, collected by vice-admiral T. Spratt. Proceedings of Zoological Society, London 324-343.)

At the last revision 8 species were known (Nordsieck, H. 2004. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A, Nr. 670:1-28). Without going into a discussion of the taxonomic standings of all those subspecies Nordsieck seems so fond of describing, the map below presents the approximate known range of every taxa.

Based on Nordsieck (2004), but color coded for your viewing pleasure. Each small square represents a 10x10 km UTM square.

The ranges of most taxa seem rather small, although further collecting will undoubtedly expand some of the ranges. The apparent gap in the south-center of the map may also be a result of inadequate collecting rather than the scarcity of Sprattia in that area.

What struck me as especially odd is the interjection of the ranges of S. aksoylari and S. sowerbyana sowerbyana in between the 2 subspecies S. beycola beycola and S. beycola medoroides. Did the ancestral "beycola" population break into 2 subspecies after its range was invaded by those 2 species?

In 1997, our Turkish malacologist friend Zeki Yıldırım described S. sowerbyana aksoylari (Yıldırım, M. Z. 1997. Turkish Journal of Zoology, 21:219-221). In his 2004 paper Nordsieck determined that this taxon was a separate species, S. aksoylari.

Zeki and I just published a note concerning the holotype of Sprattia sowerbyana aksoylari. You may download a pdf copy from here.

Sprattia aksoylari
The holotype of Sprattia sowerbyana aksoylari, now at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. (CM73333).

1 comment:

Snail said...

Thanks for making some of these articles of yours available as PDFs.

BTW, I received my copy of The Mollusks: A Guide to ... today. It's an excellent resource.