India’s newest recorded snail named after Western Ghats

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis is endemic to the Vishalgad Conservation Reserve in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district

June 14, 2022 03:03 pm | Updated 07:11 pm IST - GUWAHATI

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius. 

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Western Ghats of Maharashtra have yielded a carnivorous land snail new to the world of science.

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius. The other two – H. andamanicus and H. pfeifferi – were recorded in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the 1860s.

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius. 

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The new snail has been described in latest issue of Molluscan Research, an international journal, by Amrut Bhosale, Tejas Thackeray of the Mumbai-based Thackeray Wildlife Foundation and Omkar Yadav of the Medha-based Amdar Shashikant Shinde Mahavidyalay.

“This species is endemic to Vishalgad Conservation Reserve in Shahuwadi tehsil of Maharashtra’s Kolhapur. It is named after the type locality of the species in the northern part of the Western Ghats, which is Sahyadri in Sanskrit,” Mr. Bhosale, a zoologist from Sadguru Maharaj Gadage College in Karad, told The Hindu.

He is also associated with the Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation in Nanded.

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius. 

The Haploptychius sahyadriensis, recorded from the northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, is the third member of the genus Haploptychius.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

According to the study, the ‘Sahyadri snail’ is distinguished from other Indian and Southeast Asia’s Haploptychius in having a sub-oblique helical shell, low spire and presence of a strong parietal lamella. The new species also has a unique genital anatomy; it has a long penis with a penial sheath and hooks, atrium and vagina with longitudinal ridges and irregular transverse ridges but without any hooks.

The species was placed in the genus Haploptychius based on the shell morphology and genital characters, the study said.

Other unexplored areas in the northern Western Ghats may potentially harbour more undescribed land snail species that could be endemic, the study said.

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