Cylindrus obtusus

Cylindrus obtusus (Hochschwab, drawing Laura Zopp)

We are happy to announce that recently two papers on our “Alpine land snails” flagship species Cylindrus obtusus were published. The studies were devoted to investigate the peculiarities of C. obtusus genital anatomy and the intraspecific variation. Zopp et al. show a systematic and broad investigation on the geographic differentiation of the genital anatomy, confirming A. Schileykos findings that the eastern populations are variable in size of the stylophore and the mucus glands, while the western populations are more monomorphic. They reported that shell height in the Eastern populations is smaller than in the others. Histological analysis of the mucus glands did not reveal any difference between the groups.

Kruckenhauser et al. find, on the basis of microsatellite data, an explanation for the peculiar genital anatomy: All populations east of Ötscher reproduce predominantly by selfing! While the overall intraspecific variability is small, three mitochondrial clades (West, Central, East) suggest different glacial refugia in the Alps.

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