Communication: Sandra Kirchner
The small-sized pulmonate land snail Pyramidula pusilla (VALLOT, 1801) is a member of the monotypic family of Pyramidulidae. It is a very common species in the Mediterranean area and in western and central Europe. The preferred habitats of this species are sun-exposed limestone rocks from lowlands up to high altitudes (above 2200m asl in Austria). In 1996 Gittenberger and Bank carried out a taxonomic revision of the family Pyramidulidae and separated P. pusilla from P. rupestris. The fact that most of the Pyramidula species look very similar, especially P. pusilla and P. rupestris challenged us to take a closer look on the genetic variation and phylogeography of P. pusilla. So far, 239 individuals collected at 87 different sampling sites have been analysed. After DNA extraction, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene of the mitochondrial genome was amplified via PCR and sequenced. A neighbour-joining tree calculated from the sequence data revealed the existence of at least two genetically distinct groups within the species P. pusilla. However, the pattern of genetic differentiation does not correspond with the geographic distribution of the sampling sites (coordinates). Thus, we started with a morphological analysis which includes currently 100 individuals. These analyses require the individuals to be photographed from three different directions (top, side, bottom). The photographs will be evaluated morphometrically. This work is still in progress and will hopefully give further information about the phylogeography and genetic differentiation of P. pusilla.