Chondrocyclus putealis Connolly, 1939

Cole, Mary L., 2019, Revision of Chondrocyclus s. l. (Mollusca: Cyclophoridae), with description of a new genus and twelve new species, European Journal of Taxonomy 569, pp. 1-92: 46-49

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Chondrocyclus putealis Connolly, 1939


Chondrocyclus putealis Connolly, 1939  

Figs 16 B View Fig , 22–23 View Fig View Fig

Chondrocyclus putealis Connolly, 1939: 538   , pl. xvi, figs 25–27 (type loc.: Southport [Puzey]).

Chondrocyclus putealis – Herbert & Kilburn 2004: 91   .


Shell small, depressed, lenticular; periostracum with dense axial costae expanded into three spiral rows of flanges on last whorl. at periphery around umbilicus and below suture; operculum duplex, multispiral lamella of exterior portion deeply concave, with horizontal shelf of interwoven bristles spiralling up on inside of lamella and connected to a very long, loose fringe reflexed over peristome; radula with three large cusps on second lateral tooth; penis flattened dorsoventrally with lateral expansions of shaft towards distal end, more prominent on left side.


The specific name is derived from the Latin ‘ putealis   ’, meaning ‘of or relating to a well’, with reference to the deep well-like operculum.

Type material examined


SOUTH AFRICA – KwaZulu-Natal • 4 specimens; Natal, Southport; NHMUK 1937.12.30.5087– 1937.12.30.5090. ( Fig. 22 A View Fig )  

Other material examined

SOUTH AFRICA – KwaZulu-Natal • 12 specimens; Port Shepstone area, Marble Delta ; 30.6509° S, 30.3560° E; 10 May 2001; D. Herbert leg.; NMSA V View Materials 9390 GoogleMaps   . – Eastern Cape • 46 specimens; Mkambati Nature Reserve, Mtentu River gorge, south bank, 4.25 km usptream of mouth; 31.2316° S, 30.0100° E; 31 m a.s.l.; 12 Jan. 2012; M. Cole leg.; ELM D16954 View Materials GoogleMaps   17 specimens; same collection data as for preceding; ELM W View Materials 03656 GoogleMaps   3 specimens in ethanol; same collection data as for preceding; NHMUK 20120272 View Materials GoogleMaps   3 specimens in ethanol; same collection data as for preceding; NMW. Z.2012.065.00004 GoogleMaps   3 specimens in ethanol; same collection data as for preceding; RMNH. MOL 330498 View Materials GoogleMaps   3 specimens; Mtentu , north bank, 3.25 km upstream of mouth, scarp forest on steep slope with large rocks; 31.231000° S, 30.0174° E; 12 Jan. 2012; M. Cole leg.; ELM D16955 View Materials GoogleMaps   5 specimens; same collection data as for preceding; ELM W View Materials 03657 GoogleMaps   .


SHELL ( Fig. 22 View Fig A–D). Small, depressed, lenticular, adult diameter 4.91–5.38 mm, height 2.49–3.26 mm, diameter:height 1.61–2.00 (n = 20). Spire not much raised, apex almost flat ( Fig. 22 A, C View Fig ). Embryonic shell ( Fig. 23 A View Fig ) approx. 1.75 whorls, microscopically malleate, roughest in centre, junction between embryonic shell and teleoconch evident with appearance of a few weak axial costae, but not sharply demarcated. Teleoconch comprising 2.5–2.75 whorls, moderately convex, rapidly increasing, suture deeply impressed. Aperture circular, last whorl descending strongly near aperture, peristome simple, continuous and free. Umbilicus wid and deep, exposing all the whorls ( Fig. 22D View Fig ). Periostracum glossy, honey-brown and lacquer-like with dense lamellate costae at regular intervals, 107–150 (n = 15) on last whorl, expanded into paddle-shaped flanges at periphery and umbilicus, as well as a row of shorter broadly rounded lamellae below suture ( Fig. 22 View Fig B–D); flanges bear axial riblets visible at very high magnification ( Fig. 23 B View Fig ); intervals between costae with microscopic axial threads.

OPERCULUM ( Fig. 23 View Fig D–E, G–H). Duplex, outer multispiral portion with approx. five whorls; lamellar blade high and steep sided, resulting in a deeply concave outer portion with more-or-less perpendicular sides towards the top and curving inwards towards the bottom; upper edge of lamellar blade thickened, forming a horizontal shelf of interwoven bristles which forms a spiral staircase on the inside of the lamellar blade; in the outermost whorl the latter is connected to a very long fringe reflexed over peristome and preventing operculum being withdrawn into shell. In earlier whorls this fringe is not visible and appears fused with the lamella; surface of lamella of last whorl tuberculate at high magnification ( Fig. 23 H View Fig ). Shell translucent, glossy, honey-brown when fresh.

RADULA ( Fig. 23 C View Fig ). Rachidian with five cusps, central one approx. twice length of outer two on each side, the latter four approx. equivalent length; first and second lateral teeth each with three large cusps, a smaller fourth and a vestigial fifth, second lateral tooth is larger.

PENIS ( Fig. 23 F, I View Fig ). Shaft dorsoventrally flattened, with lateral expansions towards the distal end on both sides but more prominent on left, with numerous annular rugae, distal end bulbous and smooth.

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to a narrow range primarily near the coast in southern KwaZulu-Natal and Pondoland (the northeastern region of the Eastern Cape province), between Mtentu in northern Transkei and Southport in southern Kwazulu-Natal, but also recorded inland in the Port Shepstone area (ca 200 m a.s.l.) ( Fig. 16 B View Fig ).

Indigenous Scarp Forest ( Mucina & Geldenhuys 2006) on banks of rivers, in leaf litter.


Morphological differences between C. putealis   and C. bathrolophodes   are slight. The shell of C. putealis   resembles C. bathrolophodes   in shape but attains slightly smaller size. The position of spiral rows of flanges is similar in the two species, but costae are slightly more dense on average in C. putealis   and the peripheral and umbilical cords stronger than those of C. bathrolophodes   . The opercula of the two species are very similar although the operculum of C. putealis   is deeper with perpendicular sides near the top and curving inward near the disc, while the lamellar blade of C. bathrolophodes   widens evenly towards the top. Both species occupy a relatively narrow range, separated geographically by a wide intervening distance in which C. cooperae   sp. nov. (below) and C. pondoensis   sp. nov. occur. On morphological grounds alone, it was not clear whether C. putealis   and C. bathrolophodes   should indeed be considered distinct species, in spite of subtle differences. In the molecular analyses C. pondoensis   sp. nov. is nested within this group ( Fig. 1 View Fig ), adding weight to the evidence to treat these lineages as distinct species.

Chondrocyclus putealis   appears to be a very rare species and there are only a few localities where recent specimens could be found and it was patchily distributed at these localities. Chondrocyclus putealis   is replaced by the closely related C. cooperae   sp. nov. westwards along the coast, while C. pondoensis   sp. nov. also extends westwards from Pondoland and is sympatric with both these species. This region of the north-eastern coast of the Eastern Cape is an important centre of cladogenic events in rhytidid molluscs ( Moussalli et al. 2009; Herbert & Moussalli 2010) and is a focus of endemism in sylvian mollusc taxa ( Bursey & Herbert 2004; Herbert & Kilburn 2004; Cole & Herbert 2009; Herbert 2017). Botanically, this area harbours a large number of palaeoendemics and neoendemics concentrated in scarp forests in deep gorges ( van Wyk & Smith 2001; Mucina et al. 2007).


Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universitaet


Natural History Museum, London


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


Department of Botany, Swedish Museum of Natural History


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


KwaZulu-Natal Museum


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Botanische Staatssammlung M�nchen


East London Museum


Naturhistorisches Museum Wien


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Universit�t Z�rich


National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis


University of Copenhagen


University of Helsinki


Field Museum of Natural History, Botany Department


"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University














Chondrocyclus putealis Connolly, 1939

Cole, Mary L. 2019

Chondrocyclus putealis – Herbert & Kilburn 2004: 91

Herbert D. & Kilburn D. 2004: 91

Chondrocyclus putealis

Connolly M. 1939: 538