Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona Schuett , 1960

Grego, Jozef, Gloeer, Peter, Eross, Zoltan Peter & Feher, Zoltan, 2017, Six new subterranean freshwater gastropod species from northern Albania and some new records from Albania and Kosovo (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Moitessieriidae and Hydrobiidae), Subterranean Biology 23, pp. 85-107: 94

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Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona Schuett , 1960


Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona Schuett, 1960  Figs 21-28

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona  Schütt, 1960: 148-149, fig. 3 (Zetaquelle bei Tunjevo)

Plagigeyeria zetadidyma  Schütt, 1960: 149-150, fig. 4 (Zetaquelle bei Tunjevo).

Plagigeyeria zetatridyma  Schütt, 1960: 150, fig. 5 (Zetaquelle bei Tunjevo)

Plagigeyeria montenigrina  Bole, 1961b: 207, fig. 3 (Obodska pećina bei Rijeka Crnojevića)

? Plagigeyeria pageti  Schütt, 1961: 134-136, fig. 3 (Velika Spilja bei Risan)

? Plagigeyeria pageti minor  Schütt, 1961: 136, fig. 3 (Velika Spilja bei Risan)

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona vitoja  Reischütz & Reischütz, 2008: 143, fig. 1 ( Östliche Quelle in Vitoja am Ufer des Skadarsko Jezero):

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona zetaprotogona  - Schütt 1972: 115, fig.11.

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona zetadidima  - Schütt 1972: 115, figs 12-13.

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona zetatridyma  - Schütt 1972: 116, figs 14-16.

? Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona pageti  - Schütt 1972: 116, figs 17-20.

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona montenigrina  - Schütt 1972: 116, fig.10.

Plagigeyeria montenegrina  (sic!) - Radoman 1983: 107-108, figs 122-124.

Plagigeyeria montenigrina  - Bank 2013

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona  - Bank 2013

? Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona pageti  - Bank 2013

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona vitoja  - Bank 2013

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona zetadidyma  - Bank 2013

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona zetatridyma  - Bank 2013

Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona  - Glöer et al. 2015: 74, figs 7-8.


Albania, Malësia district, Bajzë, Syri i Sheganit Spring by the Shkodër Lake, 10 m, 42.2722°N; 19.3963°E (Fig. 2F); leg. Erőss, Fehér, Grego, Szekeres, 27.06.2016 (coll. Grego, HNHM 100385, NHMW 111661) - Shkodër district, Rrash, Burimi te Vrakut (Kroi i Vrakes, Vrak Spring), 60 m, 42.1457°N; 19.5452°E; leg. Erőss, Fehér, Grego, Szekeres, 28.06.2016 (coll. Grego) - Malësia district, Shpellë e Dverptes (Dverpte Cave), 4.5 km S of Tamarë, 200 m, 42.4262°N; 19.5272°E; Erőss, Fehér, Grego, Szekeres, 27.06.2016 (coll. Grego) (Fig. 2G).


The taxonomic identity of this species is not clear. Schütt (1972) associated five subspecies with it, while Radoman (1983) didn’t even mention this name is his monograph. In Schütt’s (1972) opinion the typical montenigrina  can be considered the morph from which the others are derived. Bank (2013) mostly follows Schütt’s (1972) view, except that treating montenigrina  a distinct species. The source of uncertainty is that, unlike in other subterranean (and epigean) truncatelloid snails, striking morphological differences could be observed within the same museum lots (found at the same localities), e.g. three different morphs were described from the Zeta Spring in Tunjevo. Schütt (1972) found that two or three morphotypes can often be detected in the same location. Based on the biological species concept, one could argue that co-existence of these morphs is a strong argument against their distinction at the subspecies level. However, it is also conceivable that the museum lots studied by Schütt (1972) represent thanatocoenoses only, i.e. they were washed together from various, geographically isolated subpopulations, and therefore the co-existence of the various morphs is just artifactual. This makes it questionable how many species and subspecies actually exist, and, if there is more than one species, how large is the geographic range of Plagigeyeria zetaprotogona  s. str.

We have found three populations that seem to belong to this taxon (or taxon group), which are the first records thereof from Albania. The Syri i Sheganit population is conchologically very similar to that of the Vitoja Spring (Podgorica, Montenegro, type locality of P. z. vitoja  ), and the other two populations further expand the known range of morphological heterogeneity. The specimens from Vrak spring have a more robust shape and could represent a new subspecies, while the single broken shell and few fragments from Shpelle Dverptes are more elongate. Until more material become available we will treat it as Plagigeyeria cf. zetaprotogona  .