Beyond the alien invasion: a recently discovered radiation of Nesopupinae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Vertiginidae) from the summits of Tahiti (Society Islands, French Polynesia)

Submitted by admin on Sun, 20/11/2011 18:55
OLIVIER GARGOMINY
(2008)
Volume
39
Part
5
Page from
517

On Tahiti, invasive species such as the carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea or the tree Miconia calvescens have impacted much of indigenous species or habitats, even in remote places not affected by agriculture or development. However, thanks to the extreme ecological conditions in altitude, these invasive species have not reached higher elevation where patches of native vegetation with endemic flora and fauna still occur. On Mount Aorai, second highest peak of Tahiti (2066 m.), the Impact of Euglandina rosea and Miconia calvescens reach a maximum altitude of 1400 m. Above this altitude, endemic gastropod species are still found alive and some remain undescribed. A new genus of Vertiginidae, Nesoropupa n. gn., is described for four new species from the top 500 m of Mount Aorai and Mount Marau: N. duodecim n. sp. (type species), N. fenua n. sp., N. nathaliae n. sp. and N. fontainei n. sp. Also discussed is how the impact of global warming is allowing introduced species to colonize higher altitudes up to the summits.

Keywords
Nesoropupa n. gn.
new species
Tahiti
altitudinal ceiling
global warming.