Weekly Series
Nature Weekly
Short Notes on Nature Singapore

19 July 2020 | White Shell Land Snail | New Guinea Flatworm |

photo photo I re-started exploring the park next to my home again since the middle of June, which I had already shared some of my encounters in the past few posts. Since a mask was now mandatory by law, I had to put one on though it was quite uncomfortable to wear them outdoor over a long. Hence, I had kept my walk short, up to about 2 hours compared to the usual longer walk. Over the last few weeks, I shifted my focus on snails and mushrooms. The chance of finding them was higher in a small area of the park shaded by tall trees.

There were not many snails visible on the ground that was littered with dried leaves. Most of the snails found were empty shells. Since snails were nocturnal animals, it was not surprising that there were few spotted in the day. The most commonly encountered land snails in this park were Macrochlamys resplendens, Achatina fulica (Giant African Land Snail) and Helicarion perfragilis (Arboreal Snail). At one of the walk, I found 2 black flatworms emerging from an empty snail shell of Macrochlamys resplendens. They had probably attacked and eaten up that snail. Flatworm is known to feed on snails. The sighted flatworm should be Platydemus manokwari from New Guinea as indicated in a report in 2015 [1].

photo photo photo One of the walks landed on an unusual find, a white shell land snail that looked like Macrochlamys resplendens. It was found hidden between 2 large leaves of a Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia seguine). While empty snail shell might turned whitish over a period of time, this one had a live snail living in it. I thought it might be an albino version of Macrochlamys resplendens. After checking online, I came across a Twitter post that showed a picture of a white land snail taken from a publication [2] that described land snails from the genus Macrochlamys and Sarika found in Myanmar. Unfortunately, I had no access to the full article. I wrote to one of the authors of the publication to check on the name of the white land snail. A week had gone by and I did not receive a response.


[1] Lim KKP. New Guinea flatworm Platydemus manokwariin Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015:106-107. | Read article |

[2] Pholyotha A, Sutcharit C, Tongkerd P, Lin A, Panha S. Taxonomic revision of the land snail genera Macrochlamys Gray, 1847 and Sarika Godwin-Austen, 1907 (Eupulmonata: Ariophantidae) from Southeastern Myanmar, with descriptions of three new species. Molluscan Research 2020;40:183-204. | Read abstract |

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