Marmorana (Murella) muralis (O. F. Mueller , 1774)

Ezzine, Issaad Kawther, Dimassi, Najet, Pfarrer, Beat, Said, Khaled & Neubert, Eike, 2018, New records of the endemic Sicilian land snail species Marmorana (Murella) muralis (O. F. Mueller, 1774) from the north of Tunisia (Pulmonata, Gastropoda), ZooKeys 775, pp. 131-147: 131

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Marmorana (Murella) muralis (O. F. Mueller , 1774)


Marmorana (Murella) muralis (O. F. Mueller, 1774) 


Shell medium-sized, depressed globular, thick, solid basic colour beige; large protoconch, clear, smooth, consisting of 1½ whorls; teleoconch consisting of 3½ slightly flattened whorls, distinctly ribbed; last whorl slightly keeled, larger than the rest whorls, descending towards aperture; aperture sub-spherical; peristome thick, white; suture moderately deep; underside with single interrupted spiral band; moderately ribbed, umbilicus completely covered by the reflected columellar margin (Fig. 1).

Male genital anatomy. Penis club-shaped, thick; epiphallus as long as penis; retractor muscle inserting into the distal part of the epiphallus; flagellum twice the length of epiphallus; penial papilla elongated, with a slit-like pore on one side.

Female genital anatomy. Dart sac simple, well developed, two glandulae mucosae, non-ramified, inserting into the middle part of the vagina near the base of the dart sac; bursa copulatrix and diverticulum inserting into the proximal part of the vagina (Fig. 2).

Haplotype network and genetic diversity

Among nine Tunisian and 58 Italian partial COI sequences of M. (M.) muralis  (Fig. 3), 46 distinct haplotypes were found, suggesting an extremely high haplotype diversity (Hd = 0.9815) (Fig. 4A). With 45 haplotypes detected, Italian sequences are highly diverse (Hd = 0.9903), while only 3 haplotypes were found in Tunisia (Hd = 0.5596). The haplotype network therefore suggests a relatively low genetic variability of COI sequences from Tunisian specimens compared to sequences from Italian specimens. Tunisian and Italian specimens share two haplotypes: the first is represented by the COI sequences of the samples collected from Manzel Jemil, Manzel Abderrahmen and the sequence from Selinunte. The second haplotype is represented by the sequence of the sample collected at Haouaria and the sequences H1, H4, and H50 from Erice ( Fiorentino et al. 2013). The sequences of the samples collected at Kelibiya represent a unique haplotype that is neither shared with the other specimens from Tunisia nor with any of the specimens from Italy. Within the Tunisian sequences, the highest K2P value (0.078) was recorded between the haplotype of the sequence from Haouaria and the sequences from Kelibiya however; the lowest value (0.01) was reported between the sequences from Kelibiya and those from Manzel Jemil and Manzel Abderrahmen. Between Tunisian and Italian populations, the highest K2P value (0.081) was registered between the sequences from Kelibiya and the sequences from Erice (H5, H10) and Monte Monaco (H22, H28, H30, H38, H52). The lowest was recorded between the sequence from Haouaria and the sequences H1, H4 and H50 ( Fiorentino et al. 2013) on the one hand and the sequences from Manzel Jemil- Manzel Abderrahmen and the sequences from Selinunte on the other hand ( Fiorentino et al. 2010). The nucleotide divergence within Tunisian population reached a value of 0.0178 but the divergence was slightly higher (0.0316) within Italian population. Moreover, the divergence between Tunisian and Italian populations reached a value of 0.0353.

The analysis of ten Tunisian and six Italian 16S partial fragments shows five haplotypes suggesting a low haplotype diversity (0.450) (Fig. 4B). Sequences of Italian specimens represent four haplotypes (Hd = 0.80), while sequences from Tunisian specimens represent only two haplotypes (Hd = 0.20). Tunisian and Italian samples share one haplotype, which was represented by sequences of Tunisian specimens from Kelibiya, Manzel Jemil, Manzel Abderrahmen and sequences of Italian specimens from Lazio, Selinunte and Marsala. The sequences of specimens from Haouaria, Fiumedinisi, Caltabellotta and Joppolo represented four different haplotypes. The maximum value of K2P distance (0.02), within Tunisian sequences, is recorded between the sequence from Haouaria and the rest. While the maximum value recorded between Tunisian and Italian populations is 0.044 between the sequence from Haouaria and the sequences from Fiumedinisi and Caltabellotta. The nucleotide divergence of the 16S partial fragment is remarkably low within Tunisian population (0.00409), as well as, between Tunisian and Italian populations (0.00828).

The analysis of nine Tunisian and six Italian concatenated sequences (COI, 16S) recovered seven different haplotypes among them (Fig. 4C). One haplotype is shared by Tunisian and Italian populations. The rest is divided into two Tunisian and four Italian haplotypes.


The topology, obtained by Bayesian inference based on the concatenated COI and 16S data set was rooted with Macularia sylvatica  and Macularia niciensis  as outgroups (Fig. 5). The Marmorana  species form two opposite clades well supported (PP = 1): The first one is formed by the samples of M. (M.) serpentina  and the second is formed by both Tunisian and Italian M. (M.) muralis  . Within the M. (M.) muralis  clade, M. cf. globularis  and the M. (M.) muralis  of Fiumedinisi are situated at the base of the clade with a high value of posterior probability (1-0.93). The rest sequences form three well supported clades. The first is composed by the sequences of Marsala and Lazio, the second is formed by the sequences of Kelibiya, Joppolo, and Selinunte (0.92) and the third clade is formed by the sequences of Manzel Abderrahmen, Manzel Jemil, Haouaria and Erice (0.82).