SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.104 issue3A new species of Andocaeculus (Acari, Caeculidae) from the Pampa biome, southern BrazilOn a new genus and species of Hemicytheridae (Ostracoda, Crustacea) from the southern Brazilian coast author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links


Iheringia. Série Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0073-4721

Iheringia, Sér. Zool. vol.104 no.3 Porto Alegre July/Sept. 2014 

A new species of Leiostracus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Orthalicoidea) from Espírito Santo, Brazil


Nova espécie de Leiostracus (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Orthalicoidea) do Espírito Santo, Brasil



Rodrigo B. SalvadorI,II; Daniel C. CavallariIII

IStaatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart. Rosenstein 1, 70191, Stuttgart, Germany. (
IIMathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen. Hölderlinstraße 12, 72074, Tübingen, Germany
IIIMuseu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo. Av. Nazaré 481, 04218-970, São Paulo, Brazil. (




A remarkable new species of pulmonate land snail was found in the collection of the Senckenberg Forschungninstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) and is described here as Leiostracus faerie sp. nov. It can be easily identified by its small and translucent shell with fine axial light brown bands and its protoconch sculpture. It was collected in the Rio Doce ("Doce River") region in Espírito Santo, Brazil, an area known for a high diversity and endemicity of land snails. This discovery shows how little this fauna is known and reinforces the importance of museum collections in the study of biodiversity and conservation.

Keywords: Atlantic Forest; Leiostracus faerie sp. nov.; Rio Doce, Stylommatophora.


Uma extraordinária espécie nova de gastrópode pulmonado foi encontrada na coleção do Senckenberg Forschungninstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt (Frankfurt am Main, Alemanha) e é aqui descrita como Leiostracus faerie sp. nov. Esta espécie pode ser facilmente identificada por sua concha diminuta e translúcida, com finas faixas axiais marrom-claras, e pela escultura de sua protoconcha. Ela é originária da região do Rio Doce, Espírito Santo, uma área conhecida por sua grande diversidade e endemicidade de gastrópodes terrestres. Esta descoberta mostra quão pouco é conhecida essa fauna e também reforça a importância das coleções de museus no estudo da biodiversidade e em medidas de conservação.

Palavras-chave: Leiostracus faerie sp. nov.; Mata Atlântica; Rio Doce; Stylommatophora.



An extraordinary new species of pulmonate land snail was fortuitously found in the collection of the Senckenberg Forschungninstitut und Naturmuseum Frankfurt (SMF; Frankfurt am Main, Germany) while browsing through the specimens of the genus Leiostracus Albers, 1850. It is part of an old collection (1914) and was collected in the Rio Doce ("Doce River") region, Espírito do Santo, Brazil (Fig. 1), an area of known high diversity and endemicity of many taxa (e.g., Rolim et al., 2006; Marques et al., 2013; for the land and freshwater mollusks, see Simone, 2006). This new species is described and illustrated herein.



The single specimen is a dry adult shell, housed at the malacological collection of the SMF. Unfortunately, as the material belongs to an old collection, precise habitat and locality data remain unknown. Measurements were made with a digital caliper; abbreviations: H, shell length; D, shell greatest width; S, spire length (excluding aperture); S’, spire length (excluding body whorl); h, aperture height; d, aperture width.

Specimens of Leiostracus cinnamomeolineatus (Moricand, 1841), including the syntypes (SMF 302126; 3 spcm.) were also analyzed, from the following collections: MNHN, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris, France); MZSP, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo, Brazil); NHMUK, Natural History Museum (London, UK); SMF; ZMA, Zoological Museum Amsterdam (Amsterdam, The Netherlands; now the NCB Naturalis); ZMB, Museum of Natural History, Humboldt University Berlin (Berlin, Germany; formerly Zoologisches Museum Berlin).



Leiostracus faerie sp. nov.

(Fig. 2)

Holotype. SMF 25876 (O. Fritsche col., 1914).

Type locality. Area in the vicinities of the Doce River (Rio Doce, in Portuguese), state of Espírito Santo, Brazil (Fig. 1). Unfortunately, no precise locality is given on the specimen’s label.

Etymology. The name, from Old French, is allusive of the shell’s fairy-like features: small, delicate and ethereal.

Distribution. Known only from the type locality.

Habitat. Atlantic Forest.

Diagnosis. Shell small if compared with other species of genus, very delicate and translucent. Protoconch with reticulated sculpture. Color pattern composed of very fine light yellowish brown axial bands.

Description. Shell small (less than 15 mm height), translucent, conical-oval; width ~1/2 shell length. Apex color (~2¾ whorls, including protoconch) whitish; remaining whorls whitish with very fine light yellowish brown axial bands. Spire angle ~50º. Protoconch (~1½ whorls) with reticulated sculpture; transition to teleoconch clear. Teleoconch smooth, except for growth lines. Whorls profile convex. Suture well-marked, but not particularly deep. Very faint carina present on body whorl. Aperture medium-sized, oval, slightly prosocline (~25º with columellar axis); ~2/5 shell length, ~3/5 shell width. Peristome whitish, slightly reflected, especially on basal and columellar regions, partially covering umbilicus. Body whorl ~3/5 shell length. Umbilicus narrow.

Measurements (in mm). 6 whorls; H = 14.6; D = 7.6; S = 8.0; S’ = 5.8; h = 5.8; d = 4.7.



Leiostracus is an endemic South American genus, occurring in Guyana, Suriname and Brazil, and being particularly diverse in the eastern and southeastern regions of the latter (Breure, 1979; Simone, 2006); its earliest record dates from the Middle Paleocene of Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil (Salvador & Simone, 2013). Leiostracus is traditionally classified in the family Bulimulidae, but some recent works have placed it in the family Simpulopsidae (e.g., Breure & Romero, 2012).

Leiostracus faerie sp. nov. can be easily identified by its small size (~14.5 mm in the holotype; the genus ranges from 20 to 30 mm) and its delicate and translucent shell, of whitish base color and with very fine light yellowish brown axial bands. There is only one species in the genus that resembles L. faerie in both shell shape and color pattern, namely, L. cinnamomeolineatus, known from the states of Pernambuco, Bahia (type locality) and Espírito Santo (simone, 2006; although all analyzed museum specimens that bear locality data come from Bahia). Leiostracus cinnamomeolineatus can be easily distinguished by its larger size, stronger and opaque shell with more numerous and stronger axial brown bands, narrower umbilicus and usually broader aperture (but there is some variation in aperture shape). A striking difference resides in the protoconch: L. cinnamomeolineatus shows the common protoconch sculpture for the genus (Breure, 1979; Salvador & Cavallari, 2013), i.e., broad, parallel and strongly prosocline wrinkles only on the upper portion of whorls, disappearing towards the median region and giving place to very fine spiral lines.

The completely reticulated protoconch seen in L. faerie (Fig. 2) is very unusual, although it is common in Pseudoxychona Pilsbry, 1931, which is either considered a subgenus of Leiostracus or a separate genus (Breure, 1979; simone, 2006). The present specimen lacks the typical strong carina of Pseudoxychona and displays a markedly convex whorl profile instead of a straight one with a clearly conical spire. Conservatively, we classify the new species in the genus Leiostracus.

As noted, L. faerie was collected in the Rio Doce region in Espírito Santo, a place known for a high diversity of land snails and by many endemic species, notably among the orthalicids: a good example is the already mentioned genus Pseudoxychona, since two of its four species are endemic to the Rio Doce region (Simone, 2006).

Unfortunately, this single specimen of L. faerie was collected a century ago (in 1914) and it is not possible to know whether L. faerie can still be found in the wild, given the major degradation of the Atlantic Forest. Finding this new species in an old collection is eloquent evidence of two important realities: that very little is known about the Brazilian land snail fauna (Simone, 1999), and that museum collections are important not only for information storage, but also for new discoveries (Allmon, 1994).

Acknowledgements. We are deeply grateful to the following people for lending the material housed at their institutions or sending us photos of the specimens: Ronald Janssen (SMF); Virginie Héros (MNHN); Jonathan Ablett (NHMUK); Valesca Lindenberg and Jeroen Goud (NCB Naturalis); Christine Zorn (ZMB). We are also grateful to Karin Wolf-Schwenninger (SMNS) for the SEM image and to two anonymous reviewers for their comments which greatly improved this manuscript. This work was partly supported by a doctorate grant from CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil; proc. #245575/2012-0) to R.B.S.



Allmon, W. D. 1994. The value of natural history collections. Curator 37(2):83-89.         [ Links ]

Breure, A. S. H. 1979. Systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of Bulimulinae (Mollusca). Zoologische Verhandelingen 168:1-215.         [ Links ]

Breure, A. S. H. & Romero, P. 2012. Support and surprises: molecular phylogeny of the land snail superfamily Orthalicoidea using a three-locus gene analysis with a divergence time analysis and ancestral area reconstruction (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora). Archiv für Molluskenkunde 141(1):1-20.         [ Links ]

Marques, B. S.; Belei, F.; Sampaio, W. M. S. 2013. Ictiofauna do baixo Rio Manhuaçu (Bacia do Médio Rio Doce). Evolução e Conservação da Biodiversidade 4(1):32-41.         [ Links ]

Rolim, S. G.; Ivanauskas, N. M.; Rodrigues, R. R.; Nascimento, M. T; Gomes, J. M. I.; Folli, D. A.; Couto, H. T. Z. 2006. Composição Florística do estrato arbóreo da Floresta Estacional Semidecidual na Planície Aluvial do Rio Doce, Linhares, ES, Brasil. Acta Botanica Brasílica 20(3):549-561.         [ Links ]

Salvador, R. B. & Cavallari, D. C. 2013. Taxonomic revision of Leiostracus onager and Leiostracus subtuszonatus (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Orthalicidae). Journal of Conchology 41(4):511-518.         [ Links ]

Salvador, R. B. & Simone, I. R. L. 2013. Taxonomic revision of the fossil pulmonate mollusks of Itaboraí Basin (Paleocene), Brazil. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia 53(2):5-46.         [ Links ]

Simone, I. R. I. 1999. Mollusca Terrestres. In: Brandão, C. R. & Cancello, E. M. eds. Invertebrados Terrestres. São Paulo, FAPESP. p.3-8 (Biodiversidade do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil: Síntese do Conhecimento ao Final do Século XX, v.5).         [ Links ]

______. 2006. Land and Freshwater Mollusks of Brazil. São Paulo, EGB. 390p.         [ Links ]



Received 25 April 2014.
Accepted 31 July 2014.

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License