Sunday, January 9, 2011

Species spotlight III

Lampedusa imitatrix (Böttger, 1879)
Mtaħleb, Malta

The clausiliid genus Lampedusa is endemic to Malta and the island of Lampedusa. In Malta it consists of two species, both of which are restricted in occurrence and live solely in highly calcareous habitats. The long and thin shell is characteristic of the family to which these snails belong. The picture shows a group of Lampedusa imitatrix (Boettger, 1879) individuals aestivating in Mtaħleb together with one (distant) relative - Cantareus aspersus (Müller, 1774). The other Maltese congener Lampedusa melitensis (Caruana Gatto, 1892) will be encountered later; while the third and final species Lampedusa lopadusae (Calcara, 1846), endemic to another Mediterranean island, is the subject of this post.

Baħrija, Malta

Shell identification
  • long and narrow shell
  • shell top not broken
  • ribbed
  • more than two incomplete ribs on last whorl
  • shell tapers down near opening

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