New land snail species discovered on Sint Eustatius and named after Quill
Since 2010 the island of Sint Eustatius is a special Dutch municipality. In spite of being part of the Netherlands for over three centuries, its biodiversity is not well studied. For this reason Naturalis set out two expeditions in 2015 for exploring both the marine and non-marine biodiversity, among others Molluscs.
A land snail, recorded as empty shells in the 1980’s under a provisional name, was rediscovered alive. Study of the soft parts morphology and DNA allowed Ton de Winter (Naturalis), Sylvia van Leeuwen (ANEMOON foundation) and Ad Hovestadt to establish the systematic position of this approx. 5 mm-sized snail as member of the family of Glass snails (Oxychilidae). The soft parts characters and shell morphology could not be matched with that of any validly named species, and the species was described as a new species, Glyphyalus quillensis.
The name quillensis is derived from the Quill volcano, where this snail is restricted to the forested upper slopes and crater bottom, the least disturbed habitat on Statia. The species is so far only known from Statia, but it may also occur on the Caribbean islands St Kitts, Saba and Puerto Rico, where the presence of similar forms has been reported in the past, but of which no or insufficient material was available. It is suggested that the species is potentially of conservation value and may be used as indicator of habitat quality.
The description of this new species is published on 8 October, 2016 in Basteria, journal of the Dutch Malacological Society.
St Eustatius National Parks (STENAPA) is very happy with the new discovery and congratulates the researchers with this result. “We hope for new discoveries in the future”.