New Snail Species Discovered in Museum Collection

Posted on August 12, 2015

Snail shell of P.cecepeus

A new snail species have been discovered in a museum collection. The snail specimen was found on the shelves of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid. It has been sitting there gathering dust since it was collected during a 19th century expedition to South America called Comisión Científica del Pacífico.

The snail species has been named Plekocheilus cecepeus. The chestnut-brown colored shell of the snail is characterized by its irregular shape and the reddish-brown streaks that run along it. The shell has a glossy surface.

The researchers say in a statement, "Although description of new species that have remained unnoticed for more than a century remains a rare event, it highlights the need for revisions of museum collections and especially the historical parts of these."

The snail was reportedly found in Ecuador but the researchers express some doubt about this. They say the actual locality of the snail is "unfortunately very imprecise." They say additional field work is needed in order to pinpoint the snail's true home. A research paper on the new snail species can be found here in the journal, ZooKeys.

Photo: Dr. Abraham S. H. Breure