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New tiny species of snails discovered in Kenting

New tiny species of snails discovered in Kenting

Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) Researchers have discovered an entirely new species of land snail at Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan notable for its tiny size of just 0.2 centimeters. The eagle-eyed research team that spotted the new species, named Hypselostoma kentingensis after the area it was discovered, was headed by Hwang Chung-chi, an assistant professor at the Department of Life Science at the National University of Kaohsiung. They discovered the species during a field survey in 2010, and the finding was published on the January 2014 issue of the Bulletin of Malacology, a journal of the Malacological Society of Taiwan. The fact that people can still find unidentified species of snails in low-lying areas like Kenting means "we still have limited knowledge of the biodiversity on this land," Hwang said Wednesday. Hypselostoma is a genus of very small air-breathing land snails with whorl shells that have wide openings relative to their size. The new find brings the number of recorded air-breathing land snail species at the national park to over 30 kinds, Kenting National Park Headquarters said. According to the park, H. kentingensis was hard to spot because of its small size and coloring similar to the rocks on which it climbs. The snail lives on hillside lime rocks and is resistant to heat and dryness, but only active at night and on rainy days, the park headquarters said, noting that the species is similar to snails with wide openings in Luzon, the Philippines, and Miyakojima, Okinawa, leading to speculation that they are related. (By Kuo Chu-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 20:50 GMT+08:00