07 January 2008

Strobilops aenea


Strobilops aenea is one of my favorite snails. They are tiny—the shell of this individual was 2.3 mm across—with prominently ribbed dark brown shells.


The coloration of the body is not unique to this genus. There are species in other genera with a similar dichotomous color pattern: dark upper surface with dark tentacles and white sides and tail.

But the conical shape of the shell is characteristic of Strobilops aenea and most of the other species in the genus. I don't know of any other North American land snail genus with a similar shell shape.


And now for something completely different: fossilized shit coprolites at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.


Anonymous said...

Hi Aydin,

Henry A. Pilsbry was an excellent linguist, and, as you do, he consistently trteated Strobilops as a feminine noun. However, the current Code (ICZN, 1999: p. 35, Article mandates: "A compound genus-group name ending with -ops is to be treated as masculine, regardless of its derivation or of its treatment by its author." The species-level epithet of your snail is adjectival[aeneus, -a, -um: L. of copper], ergo Strobilops aeneus Pilsbry, 1926 - not S. S. aenea of (the vast majority of) authors.

Likewise affected is the type species of Strobilops, S. labyrinthicus [labyrinthicus, -a, -um: L. like a labyrith] (Say, 1817).



Harry, thanks for pointing this out.

pascal said...

I've got lots of S. labyrinthic[a] -us crawling around in the woods near campus here. I like Strobilops, too. I think they're referred to as "pine cone" snails as a common name.

xoggoth said...

What a really groovy little snail!

budak said...

Out of topic, but more bizarre snails! http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080108/full/news.2008.421.html

Amy said...

I like Gastrodonta too. Not so small but quite as lovely. Then all the microsculpture on Stiaturas and Punctum - My husband is into SEM of snails lately.