New snail species discovered

A new and endemic species of a Bhutanese snail called Truncatellina bhutanensis has been recently documented by a team of Bhutanese researchers together with researchers from Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Netherland. This was announced during the talk on Mollusk diversity of Bhutan by Professor Edmund Gittenberger held at DoA initiated by National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Serbithang. The team collected 600 to 650 shells of 200 different species from as many as 35 places. The shells are maintained at NBC to serve as invertebrate references in the country.

The discovery was made during the snail specimen collections carried out in almost entire country as part of the NBC’s project on establishment of a knowledge base and understand the role of invertebrates in Bhutan funded by Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) and co-funded by Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

The species better known as Bhutanese snails, a small one was observed at Haa on April 17, 2013 by the researchers. However, according to the scientific paper, the Bhutanese snail species is commonly found in the calcareous areas of western Bhutan, within the altitude range of 2100 to 2650 meters.

Belonging to Vertiginidae family, researchers said that Bhutanese snail is different from other species in terms of having a genital tract without an externally visible prostate and a gut-furrow crossing the albumen gland instead of running parallel with it. The presence of a radula with a tricuspid central and bicuspid lateral teeth, and a mandible with many small plates separated by narrow ridges are also some of the unique characteristics of the new species.

Researchers observed its shell is fragile with light brown.

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