Wallaconchis sinanui Goulding & Dayrat

Goulding, Tricia C., Khalil, Munawar, Tan, Shau Hwai & Dayrat, Benoit, 2018, Integrative taxonomy of a new and highly-diverse genus of onchidiid slugs from the Coral Triangle (Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Onchidiidae), ZooKeys 763, pp. 1-111: 1

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Wallaconchis sinanui Goulding & Dayrat

sp. n.

Wallaconchis sinanui Goulding & Dayrat  sp. n. Figs 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Type locality.

Indonesia, Ambon, Lateri, 03°38.26'S, 128°14.72'E, st 128, mudflat next to small creek in mangrove preserve.

Type material.

Holotype, 9/5 mm [2737], designated here (UMIZ 00058).

Additional material examined.

Indonesia, Ambon, Lateri, 03°38.26'S, 128°14.72'E, 6 specimens 11/6 mm [5844], 10/4 mm [2738], 9/6 mm [5845], 9/4 mm [2746], 9/4 mm [2740], and 7/5 mm [5846], st 128, mudflat next to small creek in mangrove preserve (UMIZ 00059).


Indonesia: Ambon (type locality).


(Fig. 7 A–C, Table 3). Wallaconchis sinanui  was found in a low intertidal mudflat, by a mangrove. The mud was firm, mixed with small pieces of broken shells, and threads of microalgae. The area in which W. sinanui  was found was only about 200 square meters, but the density of slugs was extremely high (dozens of slugs per square meter). This species may need this highly specific substrate because it was not found at any other locality in Ambon or in the nearby island of Seram (Indonesia).


Wallaconchis sinanui  is dedicated to Dominggus Ledrick Sinanu, the guard of the protected mangrove forest in Lateri who advocated for its conservation. This mangrove forest is one of the few left in Ambon, and the only locality where this species was found.


(Table 5). Externally, Wallaconchis sinanui  has been observed with a unique dorsal color pattern. However, samples from additional populations are needed to determine if this dorsal coloration is diagnostic of the species or varies between populations. Additionally, W. sinanui  is much smaller than most other Wallaconchis  species, with the exception of W. achleitneri  (which is endemic to Queensland). Internally, the combination of a smooth, short, and narrow penis, a free oviduct (not attached to the body wall by fibers), and a spherical spermatheca distinguishes W. sinanui  from other Wallaconchis  species.

Color and morphology of live animals

(Fig. 7 D–F). Live animals are usually not covered with mud and the color patterns on their dorsum are mostly visible. The head is small and remains covered by the dorsal notum as the animal crawls. The body is not flattened, although some animals appear flattened when crawling. The dorsal notum is oval, and not hard. Its surface, covered with small papillae of variable sizes and colors, is granular and not smooth.

The dorsal notum is mostly brown, usually with two additional dark stripes or a longitudinal dark band. The ocular tentacles are light brown. The hyponotum and the foot are brownish-grey.

External morphology

(Fig. 8 A–C). Dorsal gills are absent. Dorsal papillae with so-called 'dorsal eyes’ are present, with typically three or four eyes per papilla (Fig. 8A). There usually are four or five papillae with dorsal eyes, even though their exact number is difficult to determine because they can be retracted within the notum. The papillae with dorsal eyes are located on the center of the notum. There is a retractable papilla with eyes in the center of the dorsal notum, which is not raised above the other papillae. The foot is wide relative to the hyponotum (between 1/2 and 3/4 of the total width), while in relaxed individuals the foot may even be as wide as the animal. The pneumostome is median (i.e., in line with the anus) and close to the edge of the pedal sole (Fig. 8C). Its position on the hyponotum relative to the notum margin and the edge of the pedal sole varies among individuals between the middle and closer to the notum margin. The anus is posterior, median, and very close to the lateral wall of pedal sole (Fig. 8C). On the right side (to the left in ventral view), a peripodial groove is present at the junction between the pedal sole and the hyponotum, running longitudinally from the buccal area to the posterior end, and ending with the female opening. The female opening is posterior, located approximately 0.5 - 1 mm from the anus depending on the size of the animal (farther from the anus in larger animals). The male aperture (opening of the penis) is anterior, located below the right ocular tentacle (Fig. 8B). The position of the male aperture varies little between individuals.

Visceral cavity and pallial complex.

Marginal glands (found in Onchidella  Gray, 1850) are absent. The visceral cavity is not divided: the heart is not separated from the visceral organs by a thick, muscular membrane (as in Hoffmannola  Strand, 1932). The heart is enclosed in the pericardium, in the posterior half of the right side of the visceral cavity. The large, anterior, ventricle becomes a large aorta that branches into smaller vessels delivering blood to the visceral organs. The auricle, significantly smaller than the ventricle, is posterior. The pericardium communicates through a small hole with the right portion of the renal-pulmonary complex. The kidney is intricately attached to the pulmonary cavity and is slightly asymmetrical (the right part being slightly larger than the left part).

Digestive system

(Figs 8 D–F, 9, Table 4). There are no jaws. The left and right salivary glands on either side of the esophagus are heavily branched, joining the buccal mass dorsally. The radula is located between two large postero-lateral muscular masses. Each radular row contains a rachidian tooth and two half rows of lateral teeth. Examples of radular formulae are presented in Table 4. The half rows of lateral teeth form an angle of approximately 45° with the rachidian axis. The rachidian teeth are tricuspid: the median cusp is always present (Fig. 9A); the two lateral cusps, on the lateral sides of the base of the rachidian tooth, are small and inconspicuous (Fig. 9A). The lateral aspect of the base of the rachidian teeth is straight. The length of the main cusp of the rachidian teeth is approximately 15 µm, significantly smaller than that of the lateral teeth. The lateral teeth are unicuspid with a flattened and curved hook (Fig. 9B). The length of the hook of the lateral teeth gradually increases from 25 to 35 µm, along the half row from the inner teeth to the outer teeth, excluding the innermost lateral tooth and several outermost lateral teeth (Fig. 9D, F) which are significantly smaller. The inner and outer lateral aspects of the hook of the lateral teeth are straight (i.e., not wavy and not forming any protuberance). Along a half row, the lateral teeth transition in shape from the inner region, in which the lateral teeth are wide (Fig. 9C), to the outer region, in which the lateral teeth are narrow and closely packed (Fig. 9D, F). The wide lateral teeth of the inner third to half of each half row bear a spine on the lateral expansion of the base, while the narrow lateral teeth in the outer region of each half row lack a basal lateral spine (Fig. 9E, F). In most cases, the basal lateral spine cannot be observed because it is hidden below the hook of the next, outer lateral tooth.

The esophagus is narrow and straight; its internal folds cannot be seen externally. The esophagus enters the stomach anteriorly. The stomach is located on the left dorsal side of the visceral mass. In dorsal view, only a portion of its posterior aspect can be seen because it is partly covered by the lobes of the digestive gland. The dorsal lobe is mainly on the right, the left, lateral lobe is mainly ventral, and the posterior lobe covers the posterior aspect of the stomach. The stomach is a U-shaped sac divided into four chambers (Fig. 8E, F). The first chamber, just distal to the esophagus, is delimited by a thin layer of tissue, and receives the ducts of the dorsal and left lateral lobes of the digestive gland. The second chamber is delimited by a thick, muscular layer of tissue, and receives the duct of the posterior lobe of the digestive gland. In the third chamber of the stomach are thick ridges which extend towards the middle of the chamber. The fourth chamber is externally similar to the third chamber but is characterized by much lower and thinner internal ridges. The intestine is long and narrow, with loops of type I (Fig. 8 D–F). No rectal gland is present.

Nervous system

(Fig. 10). The circum-esophageal nerve ring is post-pharyngeal and pre-esophageal. The cerebral commissure between the two cerebral ganglia is short but its length varies among individuals. Pleural and pedal ganglia are also all distinct. The visceral commissure is short but distinctly present and the visceral ganglion is approximately median. Cerebro-pleural and pleuro-pedal connectives are very short and pleural and cerebral ganglia touch each other. Nerves from the cerebral ganglia innervate the buccal area and the ocular tentacles, and, on the right side, the penial complex. Nerves from the pedal ganglia innervate the foot. Nerves from the pleural ganglia innervate the lateral and dorsal regions of the mantle. Nerves from the visceral ganglia innervate the visceral organs.

Reproductive system

(Fig. 11A). Sexual maturity is correlated with animal length. Mature individuals have large, fully-developed, female and male parts. Immature individuals may have small, inconspicuous, or simply no female organs, and rudimentary male parts.

The hermaphroditic gland is a single mass. A hermaphroditic duct conveys the eggs and the autosperm from the hermaphroditic gland to the fertilization chamber, which connects to a large, elongate, usually bent receptaculum seminis (caecum). The shape and size of the receptaculum seminis vary between individuals. The female gland mass contains various glands (mucus and albumen) of which the exact connections remain uncertain. The spermoviduct (for the autosperm, the exosperm, and the eggs) is embedded within the female gland mass, at least proximally. Distally, the spermoviduct branches into the deferent duct (which conveys the autosperm to the anterior region, running through the body wall) and the oviduct. The latter conveys the eggs up to the female opening and the exosperm. The oviduct is short (approximately the same length as the free deferent duct) and almost as narrow as the deferent duct. The spherical spermatheca connects to the narrow distal portion of the oviduct through a short duct.

Copulatory apparatus

(Figs 11B, 12). The male anterior organs include the penial complex (penis, vestibule, deferent duct, and retractor muscle). There is no penial accessory gland. The penis (from 55 to 70 µm long) is narrow and smooth with no hooks (Fig. 12). The vestibule is much wider than the narrow penial sheath (Fig. 11B). The distal end of the penis is within the base of the vestibule. The beginning of the retractor muscle for the penis marks the separation between the deferent duct (proximal) and the penial sheath (distal). The deferent duct is approximately the same width as the penis proximally but becomes larger distally. The deferent duct is convoluted but short. The retractor muscle is approximately the same length as the penial sheath, and inserts posteriorly, on the body wall, near the rectum.