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Land and freshwater molluscs of Gran Canaria (Spain)

Version 1.12 published by Ghent University on Jul 1, 2020 Ghent University

The Canary Islands (Spain) are an archipelago of the coast of northwest Africa. Gran Canaria is the third-largest island and located in the centre (Carracedo & Troll, 2016). The island contains a number endemic land snail species (e.g. Brito & Fraga, 2010). Freshwater molluscs are of smaller significance, but are also present. The research of land and freshwater molluscs of the Canaries mainly goes back to the 19th century with the famous works of Webb & Berthelot (1833), Shuttleworth (1852a, 1852b), Mousson (1872), Wollaston (1878), Mabille (1884), Odhner (1931), and others. Recent checklists are available (Bank et al., 2002; Brito & Fraga, 2010; Helixebas, 2019) and some more recent papers are cited further in this article. Nevertheless, taxonomic research is still largely based on these old works and many species were never found again since their description or the ecology or proper range is not known. This, together with the threats of global warming (Luque et al., 2013) and the increase of demographic and touristic pressure (Ibáñez et al., 1997) could (and probably already has) detrimental consequences for the survival of these species (see also the assessments on https://www.iucnredlist.org/). Therefore, there is an urgent need for information on ecology, distribution and taxonomy. “Land and freshwater molluscs of Gran Canaria (Spain)” is an occurrence dataset containing 389 observations of 62 different taxa of land and freshwater molluscs encountered on Gran Canaria, an island central in the Canarian archipelago (Spain). Various sites were inspected in a period between 1988 to 2020. The aim is to contribute to the knowledge on the ecology and distribution of these species on the island such that it may aid conservation and research of these organisms in the future. The dataset is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each observation a stable occurrenceID, scientific name, date, and location of the observation, as well as info on lifeStage and organismQuantity, and supplementary remarks on the determination and the observation itself. We have released this dataset to the public domain under a CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication (https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/).


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The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Please be aware, this is an old version of the dataset.  Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Langeraert W, Brosens D (2020): Land and freshwater molluscs of Gran Canaria (Spain). v1.12. Ghent University. Dataset/Occurrence. https://ipt.biodiversity.be/resource?r=snail-gran-canaria-occurrences&v=1.12


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Ghent University. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: addf4056-698b-4d66-881f-525e51342359.  Ghent University publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


snails; Mollusca; terrestrial; freshwater; Gran Canaria; Spain; occurrence; observation; open data; data paper; Occurrence

External data

The resource data is also available in other formats

Associated pictureshttps://www.flickr.com/photos/188303672@N05/ JPG/JPEG pictures


Who created the resource:

Dimitri Brosens
INBO/ Belgian Biodiversity Platform BE

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Who filled in the metadata:

Who else was associated with the resource:

Ward Langeraert

Geographic Coverage

Gran Canaria (Spain)

Bounding Coordinates South West [27.739, -15.783], North East [28.16, -15.389]

Taxonomic Coverage

Land and freshwater molluscs do not comprise a monophyletic taxonomic group, but are all mollusc species that live in respectively land and freshwater habitats. On land, only gastropods occur (class Gastropoda, snails and slugs) and in freshwater, both gastropods as bivalves (class Bivalvia) occur. No observations of bivalves are present in the dataset.

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1988-04-08 / 2020-02-08

Project Data

Contribute to the knowledge on the occurence, ecology and systematics of land and freshwater molluscs of Gran Canaria. https://www.researchgate.net/project/Land-and-Freshwater-Molluscs-of-Gran-Canaria

Title Land and Freshwater Molluscs of Gran Canaria

The personnel involved in the project:

Sampling Methods

Sampling was done ad random along random routes. Collection of specimens was mainly done by hand on sight. In some cases, a soil sample was taken that was later examined at home.

Study Extent Locations were not predefined, but some regions were specifically visited because of known species richness or endemics occurrence. At site, observations were incidental, but microhabitats or elements that were thought to be favourable for snails or were given more attention (e.g. dead wood, north facing slopes etc.).
Quality Control Determination was mainly done on two meetings concerning the land and freshwater molluscs of Gran Canaria organized by the Dutch Malacological Society (Nederlandse Malacologische vereniging, NMV) in coordinated by Theo Ripken. These meetings took place on 21 April 2018 and 23 February 2019 in resp. Leiden and Den Haag (Netherlands). Reference material and expert knowledge provided many determinations.

Method step description:

  1. Determinations were further based on the following articles: Alonso & Ibáñez (2015b) and Yanes et al. (2011) for the genus Napaeus, Alonso & Ibáñez (2015a) and Valido et al. (1990) for Insulivitrina, Ibañez et al. (2003) for the genus Obelus, Gittenberger & Ripken (1987) for the genus Theba, and Hutterer & Groh (1991) for the genus Truncatellina (see also Langeraert, 2019). Also Groh et al. (1992), Mabille (1884), Mousson (1873) (first published in 1872, see Bank et al., 2002), Neiber (2015), Odhner (1931), Serna & Gómez (2008), Shuttleworth (1975), and Wollaston (1878) were consulted. Additional information was found in Bank et al. (2002), Brito & Fraga (2010), Helixebas (2019) and as well on https://www.malacowiki.org/ and https://www.iucnredlist.org/. Finally, for species with a wider, European, distribution the following works were consulted: Cadevall & Orozco (2016), Cameron (2008), Glöer (2015), Horsák (2013), Jansen (2015) and Welter-Schultes (2012).

Collection Data

Collection Name Ward Langeraert
Collection Identifier private
Specimen preservation methods Other

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Alonso, M. R. & Ibáñez, M. (2015a). El material tipo de las especies de moluscos terrestres de Canarias: Familia Vitrinidae Fitzinger, 1833 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Stylommatophora). - Vieraea 43: 115-126.
  2. Alonso, M. R. & Ibáñez, M. (2015b). Las especies de la familia Enidae BB Woodward, 1903 (1880) (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) de las islas Canarias: el género Napaeus Albers, 1850. - Vieraea 43: 153-188.
  3. Bank, R. A., Groh, K., & Ripken, T. E. J. (2002). Catalogue and bibliography of the non-marine Mollusca of Macaronesia. In: Collectanea Malacologica. Festschrift für Gerhard Falkner. - Conchbooks, Hackenheim: 89-235, pl. 14-26.
  4. Brito, L. N. & Fraga, J. N. (2010). Mollusca. In: Lista de especies silvestres de Canarias. Hongos, plantas y animales terrestres. 2009. Arechavaleta, M., Rodríguez, S., Zurita, N. & García, A. (coord.). - Gobierno de Canarias: 182-189.
  5. Cadevall, J. & Orozco, A. (2016). Caracoles y babosas de la península Ibérica y Baleares. - Omega Ediciones SA, Barcelona: 817 pp.
  6. Cameron, R. (2008). Keys for the identification of Land Snails in the British Isles. Second Edition. - FSC, Shrewsbury: 84 pp.
  7. Carracedo, J. C. & Troll, V. R. (2016). The geology of the Canary Islands. - Elsevier, Amsterdam: 621 pp.
  8. Gittenberger, E., & Ripken, T. E. (1987). The genus Theba (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Helicidae), systematics and distribution. - Zoologische Verhandelingen 241: 1-59.
  9. Glöer, P. (2015). Süβwassermollusken. Ein Bestimmungsschlüssel für die Muscheln und Schnecken im Süβwasser der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 14., überarbeitete Auflage. - Deutscher Jugendbund für Naturbeobachtung (DJN), Götingen: 135 pp.
  10. Groh, K., Alonso, M. R., Ibáñez, M., & Henríquez, F. C. (1992). Rediscovery of Hemicycla saulcyi (d'Orbigny, 1839), a revision of its fossil allies (Gastropoda: Helicidae), and a description of a new species of Napaeus (Enidae), both from La Isleta, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands. - Schriften zur Malakozoologie 5: 1-12.
  11. Helixebas (2019, February). Lista de moluscos continentales de la Península Ibérica e Islas. Retrieved from: http://www.malacowiki.org/files/checklist_peninsula_iberica_e_islas.pdf
  12. Horsák, M., Juřičková, L. & Picka, J. (2013). Molluscs of the Czech and Slovak Republics. - Nakladatelství kabourek, Zlín: 264 pp.
  13. Hutterer, R. & Groh, K. (1991). A review of Macaronesian Truncatellina (Gastropoda: Vertiginidae) with descriptions of four new species. - Bocagiana 151: 1-19.
  14. Ibáñez, M., Alonso, M. R., Groh, K., & Hutterer, R. (2003). The Genus Obelus Hartmann, 1842 (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Helicoidea) and its phylogenetic relationships. - Zoologischer Anzeiger 242(2): 157-167.
  15. Ibáñez, M., Alonso, M. R., Henríquez, F. & Valido, M. J. (1997). Distribution of land snails (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Pulmonata) on the island of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) in relation to protected natural areas. - Biodiversity and Conservation 6(4): 627-632.
  16. Jansen, E. A. (2015). Veldgids slakken en mossels - land en zoetwater. - KNNV Uitgeverij, Zeist: 272 pp.
  17. Langeraert, W. R. (2019). First record of Truncatellina atomus (Shuttleworth, 1852) (Gastropoda, Truncatellinidae) and Paralaoma servilis (Shuttleworth, 1852) (Gastropoda, Punctidae) from the island of Gran Canaria. - Gloria Maris 58(3): 86-89.
  18. Luque, A., Martín, J. L., Dorta, P. & Mayer, P. (2014). Temperature trends on Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). An example of global warming over the subtropical Northeastern Atlantic. - Atmospheric and Climate Sciences 4: 20-28. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/acs.2014.41003
  19. Mabille, M. J. (1884). Matériaux pour line faune malacologique des iles Canaries. - Nouvelles archives du muséum d’histoire naturelle, Paris (2)7(2): 201-284, pl. 15-18.
  20. Mousson, A. (1872). Révision de la faune malacologique des Canaries. - Neue Denkschriften der allgemeinen Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für die gesammten Naturwissenschaften (3)25(1): I-IV, 1-176, pl. 1-6.
  21. Neiber, M. T. (2015). On the generic placement of the narrow-range endemic 'Helix' arguineguinensis Seddon & Aparicio, 1998 from Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). - Zootaxa, 3981(2): 296-300.
  22. Odhner, N. H. (1931). Beiträge zur Malakozoologie der Kanarischen Inseln. Lamellibranchien, Cephalopoden, Gastropoden. - Arkiv für Zoologie 23A(14): 1-116, pl. 1-2.
  23. Serna, J. T., & Gómez, J. T. (2008). Contribución al conocimiento de los moluscos fósiles de las Islas Canarias. - Spira 2(4): 199-221.
  24. Shuttleworth, R.J. (1852a). Diagnosen einiger neuer Mollusken aus den Canarischen Inseln. - Mittheilungen der naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Bern 241/242: 137-146.
  25. Shuttleworth, R.J. (1852b). Diagnosen neuer Mollusken. - Mittheilungen der naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Bern 260/261: 289-304.
  26. Shuttleworth, R. J. (1975). Tabulae ineditae Molluscorum insularum Canariensium. W. Backhuys ed. - Goecke & Evers, Krefeld: 43 pp., 8 pls.
  27. Valido, M. J., Alonso, M. R., & Ibañez, M. (1990). La familia Vitrinidae en Canarias. IV. Revisión de las especies de Gran Canaria, con descripción de 3 especies nuevas (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). - Archiv für Molluskenkunde 120(1-3): 95-114.
  28. Webb, P. B. & Berthelot, S. (1833): Synopsis molluscorum terrestrium et fluviatilium quae in iteneribus per insulas Canarienses. - Annales des Sciences naturales, 28: 307-326.
  29. Welter-Schultes, F. (2012). European non-marine molluscs, a guide for species identification. - Planet Poster Editions, Götingen: 679 pp.
  30. Wollaston, T. V. (1878): Testacea Atlantica or the land and freshwater shells of the Azores, Madeiras, Salvages, Canaries, Cape Verdes, and Saint Helena. - L. Reeve & Co., London: XI + 588 pp.
  31. Yanes, Y., Santana, J., Artiles, M., Deniz, F., Martín, J., Alonso, M.R., & Ibáñez, M. (2011). Five new Napaeus species (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Enidae) from Gran Canaria and El Hierro (Canary Islands). – Zootaxa 2901(1): 35-51.

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers addf4056-698b-4d66-881f-525e51342359