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Science News

November 2011

Tropical periwinkles

Posted by John Jackson Nov 29, 2011

David Reid (Zoology) has published the fourth and final monograph of the worldwide tropical periwinkle genus Echinolittorina which concludes a taxonomic review of all 60 species of this littoral gastropod mollusc.


This completes a 20-year project, which has required  collection of anatomical and molecular samples from across the globe,  study of all major museum collections and a 3-year NERC-funded molecular  programme (by PDRA Suzanne Williams, now also a Researcher in Zoology).  The recognized species diversity has been increased by about 50% and 14  new species have been described.



A scanning electron micrograph of a portion (3 tooth rows from a lotal length of 5 mm) of the long radula ribbon of Echinolittorina placida.



As a result the group is now among the most comprehensively known of all marine invertebrates, with taxonomy, morphology, development, distribution and molecular phylogeny all described in detail. It has become a model system for the study of the evolution of tropical marine invertebrates in shallow water, and has been used, for example, to demonstrate the prevalence of allopatric speciation (speciation following geographical separation of populations), the Miocene origin of many extant species, the influence of tectonic activity on diversification, and evolution of mating signals by reinforcement.


More information on an example of the group, Echinolittorina placida, is found on the NHM species of the day pages.

Reid, D.G. (2011) The genus Echinolittorina Habe, 1956 (Gastropoda: Littorinidae) in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Zootaxa 2974 1–65


To give an indication of what our scientists and Associates produce, a list of research publications for the 4 Weeks to 15th Nov.  More information on individual scientists and their work is in the staff directory.


(Search on the basis of ‘Nat SAME Hist SAME Mus* SAME Lon* Web of Science)


ELLIS, L.T., Asthana, A.K., Sahu, V., Srivastava, A., Bednarek-Ochyra, H., Ochyra, R., Chlachula, J., Colotti, M.T., Schiavone, M.M., Hradilek, Z., Jimenez, M.S., Klama, H., Lebouvier, M., Natcheva, R., Pocs, T., Porley, R.D., Sergio, C., Sim-Sim, M., Smith, V.R., Soderstrom, L., Stefanut, S., Suarez, G.M. & Vana, J. 2011. New national and regional bryophyte records, 28. Journal of Bryology, 33: 237-247. (Core funded)

GUEIDAN, C., Ruibal, C., De Hoog, G.S. & SCHNEIDER, H. 2011. Rock-inhabiting fungi originated during periods of dry climate in the late Devonian and middle Triassic. Fungal Biology, 115(10): 987-996. (Core funded)

KNAPP, S., McNeill, J. & Turland, N.J. 2011. Changes to publication requirements made at the XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne - what does e-publication mean for you? Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 167(2): 133-136. (Core funded)

Machouart, M., GUEIDAN, C., Khemisti, A., Dulongcourty, R., Sudhadham, M. & De Hoog, G.S. 2011. Use of ribosomal introns as new markers of genetic diversity in Exophiala dermatitidis. Fungal Biology, 115(10): 1038-1050. (Core funded)

Rivers, M.C., Taylor, L., BRUMMITT, N.A., Meagher, T.R., Roberts, D.L. & Lughadha, E.N. 2011. How many herbarium specimens are needed to detect threatened species? Biological Conservation, 144(10): 2541-2547. (Core funded)

Sutherland, J.E., Lindstrom, S.C., Nelson, W.A., BRODIE, J., Lynch, M.D.J., Hwang, M.S., Choi, H.G., Miyata, M., Kikuchi, N., Oliveira, M.C., Farr, T., Neefus, C., Mols-Mortensen, A., Milstein, D. & Muller, K.M. 2011. A new look at an ancient order: generic revision of the bangiales (rhodophyta). Journal of Phycology, 47(5): 1131-1151. (Core funded)

WANG, L., Wu, Z.Q., BYSTRIAKOVA, N., ANSELL, S.W., Xiang, Q.P., Heinrichs, J., SCHNEIDER, H. & Zhang, X.C. 2011. Phylogeography of the Sino-Himalayan Fern Lepisorus clathratus on "The Roof of the World". PLoS ONE, 6(9). (PhD Student, Core funded)


Fikacek, M., Prokin, A. & ANGUS, R.B. 2011. A long-living species of the hydrophiloid beetles: Helophorus sibiricus from the early Miocene deposits of Kartashevo (Siberia, Russia). Zookeys(130): 239-254. (Scientific Associate)

Gouveia, A.R., Pearce-Kelly, P., QUICKE, D.L.J. & Leather, S.R. 2011. Effects of different calcium concentrations supplemented on the diet of Partula gibba on their morphometric growth parameters, weight and reproduction success. Malacologia, 54(1-2): 139-146. (Core funded (jointly with IC))

GUERRIERI, E., Gitau, C.W., Fletcher, M.J., NOYES, J.S., Dewhurst, C.F. & Gurr, G.M. 2011. Description and biological parameters of Ooencyrtus isabellae Guerrieri and Noyes sp nov (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea: Encyrtidae), a potential biocontrol agent of Zophiuma butawengi (Heller) (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Lophopidae) in Papua New Guinea. Journal of Natural History, 45(43-44): 2747-2755. (Scientific Associate)

HARBACH, R.E. 2011. Classification within the cosmopolitan genus Culex (Diptera: Culicidae): The foundation for molecular systematics and phylogenetic research. Acta Tropica, 120(1-2): 1-14. (Core funded)

KUHLMANN, M. & Proshchalykin, M.Y. 2011. Bees of the genus Colletes Latreille 1802 of the Asian part of Russia, with keys to species (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Colletidae). Zootaxa(3068): 1-48. (Core funded)

PAPADOPOULOU, A., Anastasiou, I., Spagopoulou, F., Stalimerou, M., Terzopoulou, S., Legakis, A. & VOGLER, A.P. 2011. Testing the species-genetic diversity correlation in the Aegean archipelago: toward a haplotype-based macroecology? (vol 178, pg 241, 2011) [Correction]. American Naturalist, 178(4): 560-560. (Other (??), Core funded (jointly with IC))

Pham, N.T., BROAD, G.R., Matsumoto, R. & Wagele, W.J. 2011. Revision of the genus Xanthopimpla Saussure (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae: Pimplinae) in Vietnam, with descriptions of fourteen new species. Zootaxa(3056): 1-67. (Core funded)

Santos, A.M.C. & QUICKE, D.L.J. 2011. Large-scale diversity patterns of parasitoid insects. Entomological Science, 14(4): 371-382. (Core funded (jointly with IC))

THOMPSON, M.J., VANE-WRIGHT, R.I. & TIMMERMANS, M. 2011. Hybrid origins: dna techniques confirm that papilio nandina is a species hybrid (papilionidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists Society, 65(3): 199-201. (PhD student, Scientific Associate, Other (Academic Visitor))

Wu, L.W., LEES, D.C., Yen, S.H., Lu, C.C. & Hsu, Y.F. 2011. The complete mitochondrial genome of the near-threatened swallowtail, agehana maraho (lepidoptera: papilionidae): evaluating sequence variability and suitable markers for conservation genetic studies. Entomological News, 121(3): 267-280. (Scientific Associate)


Davison, T.M., Collins, G.S., Elbeshausen, D., Wunnemann, K. & KEARSLEY, A. 2011. Numerical modeling of oblique hypervelocity impacts on strong ductile targets. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 46(10): 1510-1524. (Core funded)

Gutierrez-Alonso, G., Fernandez-Suarez, J., JEFFRIES, T.E., Johnston, S.T., Pastor-Galan, D., Murphy, J.B., Franco, M.P. & Gonzalo, J.C. 2011. Diachronous post-orogenic magmatism within a developing orocline in Iberia, European Variscides. Tectonics, 30. (Core funded)

HOWARD, K.T. 2011. Volatile enhanced dispersal of high velocity impact melts and the origin of tektites. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122(3): 363-382. (Externally funded)

VITA-FINZI, C. 2011. Misattributed tsunami: Chile, Sumatra and the subduction model. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122(3): 343-346. (Scientific Associate)


Bates, M.R., Corke, B., Parfitt, K. & WHITTAKER, J.E. 2011. A geoarchaeological approach to the evolution of the town and port  of Dover: Prehistoric to Saxon periods (vol 122, pg 157, 2011). Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122(3): 506-507. (Scientific Associate)

DE GROOTE, I. 2011. The Neanderthal lower arm. Journal of Human Evolution, 61(4): 396-410. (Externally Funded)

Demirel, A., ANDREWS, P., Yalcinkaya, I. & Ersoy, A. 2011. The taphonomy and palaeoenvironmental implications of the small mammals from Karain Cave, Turkey. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(11): 3048-3059. (Scientific Associate)

Hagino, K., Bendif, E., YOUNG, J.R., Kogame, K., Probert, I., Takano, Y., Horiguchi, T., de Vargas, C. & Okada, H. 2011. New evidence for morphological and genetic variation in the cosmopolitan coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi (prymnesiophyceae) from the COX1b-ATP4 genes. Journal of Phycology, 47(5): 1164-1176. (Core funded)

Higham, T., JACOBI, R., Basell, L., Ramsey, C.B., Chiotti, L. & Nespoulet, R. 2011. Precision dating of the Palaeolithic: A new radiocarbon chronology for the Abri Pataud (France), a key Aurignacian sequence. Journal of Human Evolution, 61(5): 549-563. (other - AHOB Researcher)

HUNTER, A.W., BARRAS, C.G. & Thuy, B. 2011. Online field-guide to fossils: British Middle Jurassic echinoderms. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122(3): 501-503. (Other - contract curator and ??)

Jadwiszczak, P. &  CHAPMAN, S.D. 2011. The earliest fossil record of a medium-sized penguin. Polish Polar Research, 32(3): 269-277. (Core funded)

Rae, T.C., Koppe, T. & STRINGER, C.B. 2011. Hyperpneumatized Neanderthals? Reply to Holton et al. (2011). Journal of Human Evolution, 61(5): 628-629. (Core funded)

SENDINO, C., Zagorsek, K. & Vyhlasova, Z. 2011. The aperture and its closure in an Ordovician conulariid. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 56(3): 659-663. (Core funded)

TAYLOR, P.D. & SENDINO, C. 2011. A new hypothesis for the origin of the supposed giant snail Dinocochlea from the Wealden of Sussex, England. Proceedings of the Geologists Association, 122(3): 492-500. (Core funded)

ZAMORA, S., Mayoral, E., Esteve, J., Vintaned, J.A.G. & Santos, A. 2011. Exoskeletal abnormalities in paradoxidid trilobites from the Cambrian of Spain, and a new type of bite trace. Bulletin of Geosciences, 86(3): 665-673. (Scientific Associate)


Bendall, R.P., Barlow, M., BETSON, M., STOTHARD, J.R. & Nejsum, P. 2011. Zoonotic Ascariasis, United Kingdom. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17(10): 1964-1966. (Externally funded, Core funded)

Chen, R.M., Lin, X.F. & WARREN, A. 2011. A new pleurostomatid ciliate, Amphileptus salignus n. sp (Protozoa, Ciliophora), from mangrove wetlands in southern China. Zootaxa(3048): 62-68. (Core funded)

Chen, Y., Gu, J.J., Zhang, D., Zhu, S.M., Su, H.L., Hu, X.B., Feng, C.L., Zhang, W., Liu, Q.L. & PARKER, A.R. 2011. Tunable three-dimensional ZrO(2) photonic crystals replicated from single butterfly wing scales. Journal of Materials Chemistry, 21(39): 15237-15243. (Core funded)

CLAREMONT, M., REID, D.G. & WILLIAMS, S.T. 2011. Evolution of corallivory in the gastropod genus Drupella. Coral Reefs, 30(4): 977-990. (PhD student, Core funded)

Conlan, J.V., Sripa, B., ATTWOOD, S. & Newton, P.N. 2011. A review of parasitic zoonoses in a changing Southeast Asia. Veterinary Parasitology, 182(1): 22-40. (Scientific Associate)

Crainey, J.L., Hurst, J., Basanez, M.G., Lamberton, P., GRIFFIN, C., Cheke, R., Wilson, M. & Post, R. 2011. Simulium damnosum wolbachia (Wsdam) genomes harbor WOcauB2/B3-like bacteriophage. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 16: 202-202. (Core funded)

Kim, K., Lee, W. & HUYS, R. 2011. A new species of Sentiropsis (Copepoda: Harpacticoida: Pseudotachidiidae) from the upper sublittoral zone off Hyeopjae beach, Jeju Island, Korea, and a key to genera of the subfamily Danielsseniinae. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 124(3): 179-197. (Core funded)

RAINBOW, P.S., LUOMA, S.N. & Wang, W.X. 2011. Trophically available metal - A variable feast. Environmental Pollution, 159(10): 2347-2349. (Core funded, Scientific Associate)

RESSURREICAO, M., ROLLINSON, D., EMERY, A.M. & Walker, A.J. 2011. A role for p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in early post-embryonic development of Schistosoma mansoni. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 180(1): 51-55. (PhD student, Core funded)



Collection Management Seminar


Making the Insect World: What historical entomology texts can tell us about the cultural dimensions of insect-human relations


Dr. Adam Dodd,

Postdoctoral Research Fellow,

Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages,

University of Oslo


THURSDAY 24th November 2011,

Flett Lecture Theatre, NHM, South Kensington

14:30 -16:00


Dr Dodd will outline his postdoctoral research work undertaken in collaboration with the NHM Centre for Arts and Humanities Research (CAHR) #and the Library and Archives of the Natural History Museum. Incorporating numerous examples from a range of entomological texts,  dating from the early seventeenth century onward, he will outline his investigation of what these texts can tell us about the historical role of media and culture in the establishment and reinforcement of what might be called an ‘insect-human rapport’. In line with the broader research questions of the Oslo-based animal studies project,  Dr Dodd will discuss the extent to which insects have been historically figured as ‘objects’ and ‘signs’. On the one hand, this involves engagement with insect specimen collections, and on the other, with the analysis of the representational conventions of entomological illustrations. In the middle, perhaps, are some of the volumes found in the Sloane herbaria – which include insect bodies, arranged into rudimentary scenes with plant specimens, pressed and preserved between the pages of books.


The talk will provide an example of the ways in which the NHM Library collection may inform and facilitate new interdisciplinary work in the humanities, and in particular, historically-oriented work undertaken from a media and cultural studies perspective.



Tea and coffee will be available in the seminar room lobby area after the talk.


Suggestions for seminar speakers are always most welcome. Please contact the organiser Clare Valentine (



For additional details on attending this seminar see


Palaeontology Seminar


Deciphering the early evolution of echinoderms using Cambrian taxa


Dr. Samuel Zamora,

Department of Palaeontology, NHM



THURSDAY 10th November
Neil Chalmers Seminar Room (DC2 LG16)

16:00 - 17:00



Echinoderms (e.g., sea urchins and starfishes) are a major component of the modern seas and have an impressive fossil record that goes back to the lower Cambrian (520 Mya). Despite this well documented history, the earliest steps in their evolution remain poorly documented. Although both ontogeny and sister-group relationships indicate that echinoderms must have had passed through a bilateral stage in their ancestry, there has been no fossil record to provide the empirical proof that this stage existed. Indeed, the earliest fossil echinoderms are all radial or asymmetric forms. However, there are significant problems concerning the completeness of the Cambrian record of fossil echinoderms. Newly discovered fossils from Gondwana are bilaterally symmetrical echinoderms and represent the most primitive members of the group. Thus all three lines of evidence (ontogeny, sister-group relationships and palaeontology) are in agreement and show that the most primitive echinoderms were bilateral rather than radial.



For additional details on attending this seminar see