Contributions to Zoology, 86 (1) – 2017Isabel T Hyman; Irantzu de la Iglesia Lamborena; Frank Köhler: Molecular phylogenetics and systematic revision of the south-eastern Australian Helicarionidae (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora)

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Ubiquitarion iridis (Hyman, 2007) comb. nov.

(Figs 32D, 35B, 37)

Helicarion helenae; Godwin-Austen, 1883: 146, pl. 41, fig. 1 [live drawings only] (not Godwin-Austin, 1883: 146, pl. 41, figs 1-8).

Peloparion iridis Hyman, 2007: 90; Stanisic et al, 2010: 279, 310-311.


Material examined. Holotype. AM C.456552 (Sydney Harbour, Elizabeth Bay, NSW, pre-1877).

Non-type material. See Table S1.


Diagnosis. Animal. Beige, with a paler stripe along tail with dark stripes to either side. Mid field of sole cream; outer fields grey. Mantle lobes and shell lappets well developed, right lappet rounded and edged with black; left lappet short, elongate with rounded tip, bisected by black line and raised cream-coloured ridge; black spots on lobes and lappets (Fig. 32D).

Genitalia. Bursa copulatrix moderately long, sac oval-shaped and distinguishable from duct. Penis cylindrical, fully enclosed in penial sheath, internally with two main longitudinal pilasters and additional shorter longitudinal pilasters at proximal end, connected by transverse threads; epiphallus long, between two and three times penis length, entering penis through thickened ring; descending arm of epiphallus and epiphallic flagellum encased in a thick muscular sheath. Spermatophore a soft-walled capsule with hard tail-pipe; one branching spine present on capsule; double row of branching spines present in spiraling pattern along tail-pipe (Fig. 37).


Fig. 37. Reproductive anatomy of Ubiquitarion iridis, AM C.512399. A. Genitalia, scale bar = 2 mm. B. Penial interior, scale bar = 1 mm. Abbreviations: alb, albumen gland; bc, bursa copulatrix; cg, capsule gland; ep, epiphallus; fl, flagellum; her, hermaphroditic duct; ov, ovotestis; p, penis; pp, penial pilasters; pr, prostate; prm, penial retractor muscle; pt, penial tunica; pv, penial verge; ut, uterus; vd, vas deferens.

Remarks. Two species of Peloparion were accepted for many years (Iredale, 1941; Smith, 1992; Smith et al., 2002), Peloparion helenae for specimens ranging from Sydney to southern Queensland and Peloparion submissus for specimens from Barrington Tops, until the discovery that the type specimens of both were identical (Hyman, 2007). The names were synonymised with the senior name, Peloparion helenae being retained for the Barrington Tops species and a new name, P. iridis, introduced for the more widely ranging species (see Hyman, 2007 for a more detailed account).

Given its unusually wide range, spanning over 750 km from Sydney to north of Brisbane in habitats ranging from dry vine thicket to rainforest, this species was extensively sampled in order to ensure that it was not a species complex. Both molecular and morphological investigations confirmed the presence of a single widespread species, with a disjunct range including populations around Sydney (where this species is thought to have been introduced around 1865; Hyman, 2007), a single known locality at Seal Rocks in central NSW and then populations ranging between Grafton in northern NSW and Gympie in southern QLD (thought to be the original range of the species; Hyman, 2007).