The Coyote Mountains’ Desert Snail (Sonorelix harperi carrizoensis), a Lazarus Species with the First Documentation of Live Individuals

Authors: R N Fisher; S R Fisher
Contribution Number: 766

https://scas.nhm.org/publications/bulletin.html

Abstract/Summary

The Coyote Mountain desert snail (Sonorelix harperi carrizoensis) was described in 1937 from 30 dry shells collected the previous year. We reviewed the literature and museum records and found two additional shell collections for this subspecies from the type locality one from 1958, and one from an adjacent mountain range in 1938. There is no evidence previously of any live snails being collected from the Coyote Mountains, Imperial County, California. All shell collections of S. harperi carrizoensis have the same locality data as the type series, which is Painted Gorge, Coyote Mountains except for one recorded collection of shells from the Vallecito Mountains from 1938. Using geological maps and other data sources, a potential mesic habitat was identified in the Coyote Mountains. During recent field work for salamanders at this location we detected two live specimens of S. harperi carrizoensis approximately 2 km north of its type location. This new data confirms this subspecies is still extant and has occurred at least at two sites historically in these mountains. Despite the presence of mesic habitats (i.e., mosses, liverworts and ferns) at the type locality, we found no evidence of S. harperi carrizoensis or salamanders.

Publication details
Published Date: 2020-08
Outlet/Publisher: Bulletin Southern California Academy of Sciences 119:49-54.
Media Format: .PDF

ARMI Organizational Units:
Southwest, Southern California - Biology
Topics:
Climate Change; Drought; Species and their Ecology
Place Names:
California; Sonoran Desert
Keywords:
drought; extinction
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