A new species of a tiny freshwater snail collected from a mountainous spring in Greece
A new minute freshwater snail species belonging to the genus Daphniola was found by a researcher from University of Athens (Canella Radea) in a spring covered by snow on Mt. Parnassos, central Greece. This study was published in the open access journal Zookeys.
The new species, Daphniola eptalophos, has a transparent conical-flat coiled shell, grey-black pigmented soft body and a black penis with a small colorless outgrowth on the left side near its base. D. eptalophos differs from its congeners in shell dimensions, soft body pigmentation and coloration of penis.
Daphniola is an endemic genus for Greece, inhabiting most of mainland Greece. Two of the three currently known species are included in the category Endangered and Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011.1. It is notable that D. eptalophos was found in only one spring until now and its population abundance seems to be low.
The new species could be threatened by habitat destruction because the localities of freshwater gastropods in Greece, most of them springs, are prone to changes due to urbanization, water pollution, waste accumulation, tourism and agricultural practices. Effective conservation measures must be urgently taken to protect these localities before their unique gastropod fauna disappears.