21 August 2008

The old news about Papillifera papillaris from Cliveden

Early this morning the BBC reported the "discovery" of the clausiliid land snail Papillifera papillaris in Cliveden, a large house from 1851 in Buckinghamshire, UK*. The snails are believed to be native to Italy and have been introduced to some other countries along the Mediterranean, but had not been found in the UK until recently.

Although the BBC report, without actually giving a date, creates the impression that the P. papillaris colony at Cliveden has just been found, the record dates to 2004 and the unnamed "snail specialist" who actually identified the species was Janet Ridout Sharpe. She reported the find for the first time in March 2005 in the AMG Newsletter #7 (p. 6).

Subsequently, I wrote a note about my finding of the same species in Istanbul, Turkey for the AMG Newsletter #9, p. 6, which prompted my friend Burçin A. Gümüş to present even more records from Turkey in the AMG Newsletter #10, p. 6. (Why were they always on p. 6?)

A picture of a P. papillaris shell is available in this post.

Incidentally, according to this recent ICZN opinion 2176, the correct name of this species should be Papillifera bidens Linnaeus, 1758.

*Appreciations to budak for posting a link to the article after this post of mine.


Anonymous said...

I read news of the 'discovery' of Papillifera papillonis with interest. In the UK it has, in fact, been known from Brownsea Island, Dorset since 1993. It is also thought to have originated here from importation of stone and statuary from Italy in the late nineteenth century. Identification was confirmed in 1993 by Michael Kerney at the Natural History Museum, London.

Chris Thain
Reserve Manager, Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brownsea Island

Robert Nordsieck said...

Hi there,
not only is there the discussion what this species should be called in English (Cliveden snail or Brownsea snail) - a discussion which is rather trivial taking into account the species was found in Brownsea in 1993 and in Berkshire in 2005, but there is also the discussion among malacologists, what the correct name of the species should be. According to Kadolsky (2009) the renaming to bidens is incorrect because Linné had meant another species. On the contrary, H. Nordsieck writes in "Papillifera bidens (Linné 1758) (Clausiliidae, Alopiinae), eine häufige, aber wenig bekannte Art" (Link that this is inconceivable and incorrect. Also he writes that Papillifera bidens is quite astonishing in being one of the few Clausiliids with a vast distribution area, a high frequence of occurrence and it is very often connected to human-made habitats. This, so far, has not been explained by malacology.

Kind regards
Robert Nordsieck
<a href="http://www.weichtiere.at/english/gastropoda/terrestrial/clausiliidae/papillifera_bidens.html>Papillifera bidens</a>