A GUIDE TO THE LAND SNAILS OF RANOMAFANA NATIONAL PARK, MADAGASCAR
Neil E. Fahy, Research Associate
Department of Invertebrate Zoology & Geology
California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, California U.S.A.
May 9, 2001
The land snail fauna of Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar has not been compiled. The Park has a very rich and spectacular fauna of Madagascar endemics. The fauna over 10 mm consists of 34 species plus 10 morphs which reach a size of over 120mm. This guide is prepared for the Ranomafana Naturalists to identify specimens seen on the trails and supply ecotourists information about them. The only way the land snail fauna can be appreciated is by being able to recognize its species.
If the land snail fauna of the park is to be included in active biodiversity studies, a manual to the land snails is needed. At present, there is no practical way for the Park Guides to identify the specimens they see. This makes land snail study a very discouraging situation. Such a guide would greatly increase an interest in and an awareness of the land snail fauna. Land snails are a neglected faunal group. Most local natural history manuals do not mention land snails. This guide is intended to fill this need and is designed for curious people with an interest in land snails but especially for the Ranomafana Naturalists.
I wish to thank the Malagasy government for its cooperation, especially the Department of Water and Forests, the Ministry of Higher Education, and ANGAP. Preparing this guide has taken many hands. Some I've never met like Fischer-Piette, Pilsbry, etc., and some who have given freely and generously of their time and knowledge. I wish to thank Dr. Barry Roth who took time from his busy schedule to answer my questions when I first started looking at land snails and still does today. I wish to thank the California Academy of Sciences for allowing me to participate in its Biodiversity Research and Information project in Madagascar during November 1998. To Dr. Frank Almeda, our project leader, to the members of the project (Dr. Thomas Daniel, Greg de Nevers, Dr. Peter Fritsch, Vincent Lee, Dong Lin, and Keve Ribardo), and to our Malagasy students Lehavana Adolphe and Hanitriniaina Sylvie for their companionship and snail spotting ability. George Williams for his excellent photographs, trail map, and Helicophanta observations. Also to the Academy for the use of its library and land snail collection. To Elizabeth Kools of the Academy for her interest, questions, and discussions which helped keep me focused. And finally to Marilyn Eversole of the Academy for securing the permission to use the copyrighted images and Charles Fox who put it on the WEB.
Most of the snail photographs were taken by me using specimens collected on the 1998 expedition and those in the collections of the California Academy of Sciences. George Williams contributed several excellent images and the map and they are reproduced with his permission.
I wish to acknowledge the reproduction of images from:
Manual of Conchology ser 2, published by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, volumes 1 (1885), 2 (1885-1886), 3 (1885-1887), 6 (1890-1891), 9 (1890), 17 (1904-1905), and 18 (1906-1907).
Reeve & Sowerby’s “Conchologia Iconica” vol 13, 1862.
Crosse & Fischer in Journal de Conchyliologie, 1882.
Connolly 1939 in Annuals of South African Museum, vol 33.
I would like to thank the following for permission to reproduce their published figures:
Dr. Timothy A. Pearce, Managing Editor of the American Malacological Bulletin for Emberton’s article in volume 15(1):83-96; Reproduced with permission of the American Malacological Bulletin.
Dr. Renaud Paulian for the use of pictures in the Museum national d’Histoire naturelle, 1993 publication “Faune de Madagascar 80 Gasterpodes terrestres Prosobranches” and their 1994 “Faune de Madagascar 83 Gasterpodes terrestres Pulmones (excl. Veronicellidae et g. Elisolimax)”.
Earle E. Spamer of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia for the website only use of figures from Kenneth Emberton’s contribution to the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 145:147-189.
The figures reproduced and their sources are presented at the end of the text.
All the 1998 expedition specimens, wet and dry, are in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
Land snail identification