Rissooidean freshwater gastropods from the Vanuatu archipelago
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During expeditions to Santo and the Torres islands belonging to the Vanuatu archipelago in 2006 and 2007, ten new species of tateid gastropods confined to springs, the upper most, slowly flowing regions of streams or the groundwater had been discovered. These species were now described based on shell morphology and anatomy. In accordance with geography, these characters placed the species from Vanuatu between those from New Caledonia and Fiji, suggesting a stepping stone-like dispersal across the Pacific with an origin in New Zealand and the far end on the Austral islands. We also assessed the threat status of the new species according to the IUCN Red List criteria and concluded that they should be amended by explicit incorporation of the scale of potential human impact or stochastic natural events relative to the size of the habitat of organisms.
KeywordsCrenobiontic Dispersal IUCN Red List categories Pacific islands Santo Tateidae Torres islands
The material described in this article was collected during the SANTO 2006 Expedition organized by Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN), Pro Natura International (PNI), and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). The expedition operated under a permit granted to P. Bouchet by the Environment Unit of the Government of Vanuatu. O. Pascal and P. Keith were the Principal Investigators of the Forests, Mountains, Rivers theme. The Torres Islands field trip was made possible through funding from MNHN (Programme ‘Etat et structure de la biodiversité actuelle et fossile’), the Delegation of the European Commission in Vanuatu, CNRS and Amis du Muséum. It operated under a permit issued to P. Bouchet by the Environment Unit of the Vanuatu Ministry of Lands, with local logistics and indigenous custom permits organized by T. Noel, Vanuatu Kultural Senter Field Worker resident in Torres, and R. Pineda. We thank the crew of the Vanuatu Maritime College boat Euphrosyne II. G. Mascarell is acknowledged for his assistance at the SEM. MH was supported by a Synthesys grant (FR-TAF-4481) to visit Paris to pursue the lab work.
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