Also known as the Green Tree Snail or Manus Green Tree Snail, the emerald green snail is a species of terrestrial camaenid gastropod that is endemic to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Emerald green snails typically inhabit rain forests and are usually found in trees.
Although Papustyla pulcherrima is listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN it faces severe threats due to overharvesting for commercial purposes and habitat loss.
Kleptoplasty or kleptoplastidy is a symbiotic phenomenon whereby plastids, (notably chloroplasts), from algae are sequestered by host organisms. The alga is eaten normally and partially digested, leaving the plastid intact. The plastids are maintained within the host, temporarily retaining functional photosynthesis for use by the predator .
This phenomenon occurs in some unicellular organisms such as foraminifera, dinoflagellates and ciliates, but also in a few multicellular organisms.
Among metazoans, retention of functional diet-derived chloroplasts (kleptoplasty) is known only from the sea slug taxon Sacoglossa (Gastropoda - Opisthobranchia). Intracellular maintenance of plastids in the slug’s digestive epithelium has long attracted interest given its implications for understanding the evolution of endosymbiosis.
According to a paper published by Händeler et al. (2011), photosynthetic ability varies widely among sacoglossans; there are three levels of photosynthetic activity: (a) no functional retention; (b) short-term retention lasting about one week; and (c) long-term retention for over a month.
Elysia crispata is one of the species that has a long-term chloroplast retention ability, where other species within the same genus tend to have more short-term retention.
This species can be either heterotrophic or autotrophic throughout their lifespan. As juveniles, food is consumed and digested quickly, with little chloroplast retention. Upon reaching maturity, kleptoplasty becomes an important energy source . Chloroplasts within their parapodia (fleshy dorsal protrusions) continue to produce energy products through carbon fixation throughout their life.
In New Study, Scientists Propose That a Handful of Species Types Are Key Are to Ecosystem Health
by Ariel Mark
While conducting field research in the humid salt marshes of Sapelo Island, scientists Marc Hensel and Brian Silliman made an astonishing discovery: species type, not just quantity, is vital for maintaining healthy ecosystems.
For decades, scientists believed that preserving the largest number of species was critical for ecosystem function, regardless of their genetic makeup. However, Hensel, a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and Silliman, Rachel Carson Associate Professor at Duke University, counter the old dogma in an article recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
By examining the relationships among three dominant consumer species (i.e., grazers and predators), Hensel and Silliamn found that it isn’t just the number of total species,butthe number of specific species that is crucial to upholding ecosystem performance.
Working in the cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) dominated salt marshes of Sapelo Island in the Southeastern U.S. state of Georgia, the researchers measured the effect of species loss on ecosystem performance. Salt marshes are seemingly simple ecosystems composed of a few extremely abundant and influential species…
Foot-Long, Sex-Crazed Snails That Pierce Tires and Devour Houses
by Matt Simon
Ah, the innocence of children. So free of corruption and cynicism, so sweet and sincere. Laughing and playing and introducing supremely destructive monster snails to Florida, where the beasts eat almost anything that’s green and then crap all over houses — quite literally laying waste to whole neighborhoods.
This actually happened in the 1960s, when a boy vacationing with his family in Hawaii had pocketed a few giant African land snails (Lissachatina fulica), a mollusk that grows to a foot long and a full pound. Hawaii had been battling the pest, and so too would Florida, where the boy returned with his new friends. Once home, he quickly grew bored of the snails and handed them over to his grandmother, who set them free in her backyard.
What ensued was an invasion by rapidly reproducing critters that have over the last century spread out of their native East Africa into tropical climes all over the world, from Asia to South America, as stowaways on ships or as pets brought home by people with a thing for snails. In Florida, eradication took seven years. Other places, like Brazil, have not been so lucky in their efforts…
The Florida Banded Tulip Shell is a predatory gastropod which is commonly observed in shallow water along the coast of Florida. This one was photographed live at Honeymoon Island, in Pinellas County, Florida, US.
Phyllidiella zeylanica is a species of sea slug, a dorid nudibranch, characterised by its numerous, very tuberculate, pink ridges which curve to join anteriorly and posteriorly (but may be interrupted), its pale foot sole, and its dark triangular oral tentacles.
This species is found in the tropical Indian Ocean, where it occurs from eastern Africa to Java.
Animalia - Mollusca - Gastropoda -Opisthobranchia - Phyllidiidae -Phyllidiella - P. zeylanica
This green and yellow slug (Ibycus rachelae) was discovered on leaves in a mountain forest at altitudes up to 6,233 feet (1,900 meters) in Sabah, Malaysia. This species was recently described in 2008.
The slug sports a tail that’s three times the length of its head, which it wraps around its 1.6-inch-long (4 cm) body as if a pet cat. In fact, its discoverers initially planned to name the slug Ibycus felis, after its feline inspiration. Instead, they named it after the girlfriend of one of its discoverers, Menno Schilthuizen of the Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity ‘Naturalis.’
The slug species makes use of so-called love darts. Made of calcium carbonate. The love dart is a harpoon-like structure that pierces and injects a hormone into a potential mate. The dart could increase the slug’s chances of reproduction.
Animalia - Mollusca - Gastropoda - Sigmurethra - Helicarionidae - Ibycus - I. rachelae
The sneak-attack peens were caused by the chemical tributyltin (TBT), which leached out of the paint on ship hulls and into the ocean. The chemical has been messing with marine life since the 1970s, and we’ve understood the extent and gravity of the problem since the ’80s, says the Australian Broadcasting Corporation – but it took until 2008 for a global ban on TBT to finally take effect…