Two new species of snails discovered from Bhutan

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A team comprising of officials from the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC), Serbithang, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER), Bumthang, and the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Netherlands published two snail species new to science in ZooKeys in April 2020 ( Two Erhaia species described from Bhutan are Erhaia jannei Gittenberger & Stelbrink and Erhaia pelkiae Gittenberger & Gyeltshen. The species are confirmed using DNA sequencing along with morphological descriptions.

Both the species were discovered from brooklet with a prayer wheel along the road in Geneykha, Thimphu in 2018. The specimens are deposited at the National Invertebrate Repository Centre, NBC (NBCB 1058; NBCB 1059, NBCB 1060). Shells of Erhaia jannei are obliquely ovoid, with 3½-4 convex, shouldered whorls that are separated by a deep suture; clearly higher than broad; yellowish brown with fine irregular growth lines and some blackish brown periostracal ridges, one of which runs from the apertural columellar border into the umbilicus. Shells of Erhaia pelkiae are elongated ovoid, with 3½ convex, shouldered whorls that are separated by a deep suture; clearly higher than broad; light yellowish brown with fine growth lines and some brown periostracal ridges.

The publication also reported another snail species, Tricula montana for the first time from Bhutan (Lhuentse and Mongar). The identification key for the Erhaia species in the Himalayan foothills is also presented in the article. This discovery is the one of the result from the national invertebrate project coordinated by the NBC with UWICER and Naturalis. The project is funded by the National Geographic Society, BTFEC and Royal Government of Bhutan.

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