Pomatias Sulcatus

Section dedicated to Molluscs - a group of soft bodies creatures with hard shells such as snails, clams, oysters etc.

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Conchiolin
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Pomatias Sulcatus

Post by Conchiolin » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:56 am

I found these specimens near Dingli Cliffs. I usually only find the shells of these specimens. Correct me if i'm wrong but i think the Sowerby is the only land mollusc (in malta) that has an operculum. the operculum has a protective function against predators and drought one of the proteins in the operculum is Conchiolin.

Other species such as the Helix Aspersa and Helix Aperta have an epiphragm not an operculum which also serves as a protection but the operculum is more efficient since it's always attached to the foot of the Sowerby.

Anyways there are many marine molluscs that have an operculum such as the Murex Trunculus which is (in my opinion) not so difficult to find eg: in Gnejna etc...

I thought i would share this photo with you all:
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Pomatias Sulcatus.
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Post by IL-PINE » Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:31 am

Yes definitely. Pomatias sulcatus is the only wild species in Malta having an operculum. It was formely thought to be an endemic species because Maltese specimens are smaller and sometimes have a violet colour.
We have another Pomatias in Malta. It is Pomatias elegans but so far this species has only been found in San Anton Gardens where it was probably introduced with some plants.

Nice topic you started Conchiolin!

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Post by Conchiolin » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:43 pm

Thank you Mr.Pine :)
Unfortunately i did not find any info about the mollusc in the Wildlife of the Maltese Islands the edition published in 1995.

It's a great book anyhow and very useful if you want to id a plant or an animal or whatever. I don't think the mollusc is a pest and i would really like to know what does it feed on and why is not so common. Maybe due to some kind of predator or the introduction of exotic species like Oxalis pes Caprae that wiped out or diminished the diversity of the flora.

I don't think lots of molluscs feed on the Oxalis. Any comments about this snail or any suggestions or hypothesis are very welcome.
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Post by IL-PINE » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:15 pm

Well it is common actually. It is found everywhere around our islands and practically also on the islets. Usually if you elevate stones in garigues or maquis you will find it there. The shell is characteristic as there is no land shell with a similar shape.

I have no idea about its diet, I guess it does not like Oxalis that much. I guess it prefers a nice green salad, well served with a touch of olive oil :-D

I agree with you that probably none of our local molluscs feed on the Oxalis. It was not native, it was introduced in the 1800s so none of our native species had developed a taste for it. The only sort of predator of the Oxalis is the Broomrape: Orobanche muteli melitensis who has developed a taste for it.

I see you are interested in Maltese fauna also :D Keep it up!
Hope to see you in one of the walks organised.

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Post by Conchiolin » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:02 pm

Yes finally an enemy for this plant. but unfortuntely her enemy (the parasitic --- ) :lol: is a pest in Malta escpecially for leguminous plants like broad beans (ful) etc...

But you know what they say the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Well the Cape Sorrel contains much oxalic acid and oxalates maybe that's the reason why no molluscs feed on this species.

Yes i've been thinking about these activities i'm very interested in fauna and flora but i 'm not that pro and i'm not that old too as my picture of Hugh Laurie (also commonly known as Dr.House) might suggest. :shock:

but i'll try to come. :)
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Post by Conchiolin » Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:17 pm

Sorry i made a huge mistake in my previous post :

The one that (the parasitic b----rd) STILL lives on the Leguminous plants like broad beans is the Orobanche Crenata aka Bean Broomrape aka* 'Budebbus tal-Ful'.

* ( also known as)
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Post by MWP admin » Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:43 am

I try to organise an activity in April. Sorry for a decreased number of activities but this year I was very busy with my daughter. It was a pity that it rained and had to cancel the walk last time. I never seen such a cold and rainy March.

By the way, we are not that pro's that we see other as flies - on the contrary I believe in equality, so everyone can come to the maltawildplants.com walks without being afraid of not being high-ranked in the subject.

The walks are an opportunity for the forum members to meet with each other while exploring our beautiful biodiversity and have some fun and excercise.
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Post by IL-PINE » Sat Mar 24, 2007 9:53 pm

yes we are pros and we eat people!

The carnivorous pine! yahoo! :-D

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Post by IL-PINE » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:16 pm

name now changed to Tudorella sulcata

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Post by xilpa » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:15 am

Hi Stephen
I would very much like to join if you do organise a walk, if I am invited that is. Will you be announcing it on this forum ?
Best regards.

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Post by MWP admin » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:35 pm

Pine - thanks for the update, seems the forum still holds on...

Xilpa, I used to make walks with pleasure when I was single, but now that I got married and have 2 children, things got much more difficult.

However, maybe next year
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Post by xilpa » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:57 pm

Thank Stephen, I understand.

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Post by D. Cilia » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:43 pm

IL-PINE wrote:name now changed to Tudorella sulcata
In fact it's recently been found to be an endemic species, so now it's Tudorella melitense (Sowerby, 1843). Things are changing quickly since DNA barcoding came into common use.

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