New top-shell species discovered on Taiwan’s Kinmen islands

The top-shell has been included in the World Register of Marine Species

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Kinmen Top-shell (Photo/Kinmen National Park)

Kinmen Top-shell (Photo/Kinmen National Park)

Kinmen Top-shell (Photo/Kinmen National Park)

Kinmen Top-shell (Photo/Kinmen National Park)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A new species of top-shells (Trochidae) was discovered around the Leiyu Township in Taiwan’s Kinmen County – Kinmen Top-shell (金門鐘螺), the first to be named after the outlying islands.

The discovery was made by a group of researchers commissioned by the Kinmen National Park administrative office in 2016 to investigate organisms inhabiting the intertidal zone of Leiyu, said the Office.

The mollusk (Calliostoma apicisuperi S.-I Huang & I.-F. Fu, 2019) has been recognized in the World Register of Marine Species database this year, while the samples of it were donated to National Museum of Natural Science in Taichung.

The Kinmen Top-shell sports a pyramid shell comprised of circles of colorful beads featuring hues from gold and pink to purple. Relatively small in size, it can grow up to 0.8 centimeters in height.

Leiyu boasts at least 286 forms of life in the intertidal zone based on the research, among which 40 forms have never before been recorded in Taiwan. There are approximately 800 top-shells in the world, 60 of which call Taiwan home, according to the Office.