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The Coyote Mountains’ desert snail (Sonorelix harperi carrizoensis), a lazarus species With the first documentation of live individuals

January 19, 2021

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.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2021
Title The Coyote Mountains’ desert snail (Sonorelix harperi carrizoensis), a lazarus species With the first documentation of live individuals
DOI 10.3160/0038-3872-119.2.49
Authors Robert N. Fisher, Samuel Rosen Fisher
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences
Series Number
Index ID 70220272
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center

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