Darderia bellverica Altaba, 2007

Darder’s toothed snail



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Oestophora cuerdai Quintana, Vicens and Pons, 2007


"It is proposed to call this species "Darder’s toothed snail" in English, "caracol dentado de Darder" in Spanish, and "caragol denticulat d’en Darder" in Catalan."

(Altaba, 2007a:198)


Darderia bellverica was originally described by Altaba (2007a) based upon two specimens in the Gasull collection, Museu de Ciències Naturals de la Ciutadella, Barcelona. But through a confusing set of circumstances the same species was independently described by (Quintana et al., 2007 "2006") around the same time. However, the latter paper was published after the former, and so the description by (Altaba, 2007a) must stand as the original scientific description, and Oestophora cuerdai (Quintana, Vicens and Pons, 2007) is therefore a junior synonym.

However matters did not stop there. Quintana et. al. (2007) published a claim that theirs was the valid binomen since their paper was published prior to Altaba's. They gave various reasons why theirs should be considered the valid account. However (Altaba, 2007b) disposed of each of their arguments and convincingly argued that the scientific name of this species should be considered to be Darderia bellverica:

"From all of the above, it can only be concluded that the attempt by Quintana et al. (2007) to sustain their supposed priority and to show the alleged superior quality of their work is entirely flawed. The correct name for the Mallorcan fossil helicodontid is Darderia bellverica Altaba, 2007. This taxon was carefully described and illustrated, and Oestophora cuerdai Quintana, Vicens et Pons, 2007 is just a junior synonym of the former (contra Quintana et al., 2007), based on an erroneous and incomplete interpretation of some characters."

(Altaba, 2007b:195)


Conservation Status


Last record: Late Pleistocene


Though only known from subfossil remains, it may still survive in one or more isolated population:

"Whether Darderia bellverica is still extant is open to further explorations. In spite of intense searches throughout the Balearics during the last 30 years, it has not been found live anywhere. However, the profound ecological changes that have taken place in Mallorca during the Holocene and especially in recent decades may have pushed it into remote refugia. It is conceivable that this little snail followed the path of the ferreret, or Balearic midwife toad (Alytes muletensis Sanchiz & Adrover, 1977), an endemic with a long history of isolation that was first discovered as a fossil and survives only in a few inaccessible canyons."

(Altaba, 2007a:199)



Mallorca, Balearic Islands


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: MZB 84–6550A

Type locality: "Late Pleistocene paleosoil near the surface, at the crossroad of Andrea Doria and Son Armadans streets, near the main entrance to the park of Bellver forest, in Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)".


Paratype: MZB 84–6550B






Original scientific description:

Altaba, Cristian R. (2007a). A new land snail from the Quaternary of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean): Darderia bellverica n. gen ., n. sp. (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Helicodontidae). Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 29(2): 195-200.


Other references:

Altaba, Cristian R. (2007b). Reply to Quintana et al. (2007): Darderia bellverica Altaba, 2007 is the correct name for the Mallorcan fossil helicodontid. Spira 2(3): 191-196.

Quintana, J., Vicens, D. and Pons, G. X. (2007 "2006"). A new species of the genus Oestophora Hesse, 1907 (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Trissexodontidae) from the Upper Pleistocene of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean).  Boll. Soc. Hist. Nat. Bal. 49: 51-58.

Quintana, J., Pons, G. X. and Vicens, D. (2007). Algunas anotaciones críticas sobre Oestophora cuerdai Quintana, Vicens et Pons, 2006 (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Helicodontidae). Spira 2: 157-162.


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