New snail species discovered in Croatia

Posted Sep 16, 2013 by Lizz Riggs
A new species of a cave-dwelling snail with a semi-transparent shell has been discovered in the Lukina Jama-Trojama cave system.
The deepest cave system in all of Croatia, and one of the twenty deepest in the world, Lukina Jama-Trojama is 1,421 meters deep. Research in the cave system is ongoing, and a new species has recently been identified.
See pictures of the new snail here.
The new snail species, Zospeum tholussum, is small and fragile with a dome-like and semi-transparent shell. Other species in the genus Zospeum possess very limited ability to move and dwell in a muddy habitat located near the drainage system of the cave.
Dr. Alexander Weigand of the Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, found only one living snail, 980 meters into the cave system.
“The single living specimen was found in an unnamed large chamber with lots of stones, rocks and sand. A temporal small stream of running water was present close to the collecting site. Air temperature was between 3.3 – 3.5 degrees Celsius, water temperature 5.1 degrees Celsius and air humidity 100 per cent. Shells were observed beginning from 800 m depth till the bottom of the cave. Shells were generally found on layers of mud,” Dr Weigand said in a paper published in Subterranean Biology.