Position: Chief Curator and honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
B.Sc. Hons, Zoology, London University.
Ph.D. Zoology, London University.
David (Dai) Herbert was born and brought up in Wales. After obtaining his Ph.D. from London University in 1984, he took up his present position in the KwaZulu-Natal Museum. He is currently is secretary of Unitas Malacologica, the global professional society of malacologists, and a member of the IUCN Mollusc and Southern African Invertebrates specialist groups. He has published two books, over 60 scientific publications and a similar number of popular articles.
Initially his research interests focused on marine gastropods, in particular the Vetigastropoda, but in the mid 1990s he crawled out of the sea and began chasing land snails, though he still maintains an interest in vetigastropods through students and collaborative research projects.
Current research projects:
Systematics of the Phasianellidae [T. Nangammbi & D. Herbert]
A morphological and molecular study of the phasianellid genera Eulithidium, Gabrielona, Phasianella and Tricolia, with special emphasis on the origins and relationships of the endemic southern African Tricolia radiation (Ph.D. project of Tshifhiwa Nangammbi).
Global review of the Solariellidae [S. Williams & D. Herbert]
In 1987, Dai Herbert published a revision of the diverse solariellid fauna of southern Africa (Herbert, 1987) and is now collaborating with Dr Suzanne Williams (NHM, London) and several other specialists from around the world on a global analysis of the diversity and systematics of the Solariellidae.
Revision of the Chilodontidae of the south-western Indian Ocean [D. Herbert]
The Natal Museum Dredging Programme brought to light a wealth of poorly known chilodontid material from northern Zululand. Studying this material, augmented by additional samples collected off Madagascar and Mozambique by the MNHN, Paris, Dai Herbert has identified 27 different species occurring in the region and has recently submitted for publication a thorough taxonomic revision of the regional chilodontid fauna.
Prestonella (Orthalicoidea: Bulimulidae s.l.) [J. Fearon, D. Herbert & N. Barker]
Recent work on this very poorly-known and enigmatic genus has shown it to be the only African representative of the Gondwanan family Bulimulidae s.l. (Herbert, 2007; Herbert & Mitchell, 2009). Current research now focuses on studying phylogeographic patterns across its distribution along the southern edge of the Great Escarpment. This is being done as a component of Prof Nigel Barker's Great Escarpment Biodiversity Research Programme at Rhodes University, Grahamstown and is the subject of Janine Fearon’s MSc project.
Southern African Rhytididae – cannibal snails [D. Herbert & A. Moussalli]
The carnivorous land snails of the family Rhytididae (another Gondwanan group) are a conspicuous and characteristic element of the southern African terrestrial malacofauna. Dai Herbert and Adnan Moussalli have been studying this group of snails for a number of years and have published a phylogeny for the large and spectacular species belonging to the genus Natalina s.l., based on both molecular and morphological data (Moussalli, Herbert & Stuart-Fox, 2009), as well as a monographic taxonomic revision describing a number of new taxa (Herbert & Moussalli, 2010). Ongoing work now focuses on the remaining southern African rhytidids, those belonging to the genus Nata s.l., in which new species have also been discovered. A taxonomic revision and a molecular phylogeny are in preparation.
Sheldonia s.l. (Urocyclidae) – tail-wagger snails [D. Herbert & A. Moussalli]
The genus Sheldonia
is endemic to southern Africa where it has undergone considerable radiation in both the wetter southern and eastern regions, and the more arid karoo. More than 10 new species h
ave been discovered, most of which are narrow-range endemics and thus of conservation concern. This project explores the phylogenetic relationships of the more than 30 species of Sheldonia s.l.
from a molecular and morphological perspective. Congruence between these datasets is good and we have been able to identify several well supported subclades within Sheldonia s.l.
that warrant recognition as distinct genera.
The endemic molluscan fauna of Transkei [M. Cole, D. Herbert & L. Davis]
Mary Cole of the East London Museum, Dai Herbert and Linda Davis have been undertaking regular field surveys in the Transkei region of the E. Cape province. This region is rich in endemic species in many animal and plant groups, and terrestrial molluscs are no exception. These field surveys have contributed much to other projects such as those focusing on rhytidids and urocyclids, and have also resulted in publications describing new taxa in other groups, notably the Streptaxidae (Bursey & Herbert, 2004; Cole & Herbert, 2009; Herbert, 2006).
Introduced terrestrial molluscs of southern Africa [D. Herbert]
Dai Herbert has been accumulating data on the alien snail and slug fauna of southern African for more than 10 years. Recently he began drawing this together and has now prepared a comprehensive revision
of the introduced terrestrial molluscs of the region. This study details the introduced fauna, records new introductions, provides an analysis of the history, patterns and processes
of introduction, & highlights species of significant pest and invasion risk. (Herbert, 2010).
Terrestrial molluscs of Madagascar [O. Griffiths, D. Herbert & L. Davis]
In recent years, Dai Herbert and Linda Davis have joined Owen Griffiths (Mauritius) in his ongoing project documenting land snail diversity in Madagascar. Field work focuses on remote, poorly sampled areas and, though physically demanding, is very rewarding in terms of the material collected. Snail diversity in limestone areas is considerable, with many large and spectacular species, some still undescribed. Currently, they are working through material collected on their most recent trip undertaken in conjunction with L'Association Vahatra to the newly created Tsingy de Beanka Reserve, a northerly extension of the Tsingy de Bemaraha massif in north-western Madagascar (http://www.tsingy-madagascar.com/
). A synoptic review of Madagascar's non-marine mollusc fauna was published in a recent book on the island's remarkable biodiversity (Griffiths & Herbert, 2008).
- Herbert, D.G. 2010. The introduced terrestrial Mollusca of South Africa. SANBI Biodiversity Series 15. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
- Herbert, D. & Kilburn, D. 2004. Field guide to the land snails and slugs of eastern South Africa. 336 pp. Natal Museum: Pietermaritzburg.
- Herbert, D.G., Griffiths, C.L. & Appleton, C.C. 2011. Molluscs. Pp. 181–198. In: Picker, M. & Griffiths, C.L. eds, Alien and Invasive Animals: a South African Perspective. Cape Town: Struik Nature.
- Griffiths, O. & Herbert, D. 2008. Les mollusques terrestres et dulçaquicoles. Pp. 227–247, in: Goodman, S.M. (ed.)Paysages naturels et biodiversité de Madagascar. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle: Paris.
- White, R.M., Cocks, M., Herbert, D.G. & Hamer, M.L. 2004. Traditional medicines from forest animals. Pp. 474–477, in: Lawes, M.J., Eeley, H.A.C., Shackleton, C.M. & Geach, B.G.S. (eds), Indigenous forests and woodlands in South Africa. Policy, people and practice. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press: Pietermaritzburg.
- Herbert, D.G. 1998. Molluscan conservation in South Africa: diversity, issues and priorities. Pp. 61–76, in: Killeen, I.J., Seddon, M.B. & Holmes, A.M (eds) Molluscan conservation: a strategy for the 21st century. Journal of Conchology, Special volume. No 2.
Publications in scientific journals
- Williams, S.T., Smith, L.M., Herbert, D.G., Marshall, B., Warén, A., Kiel, S., Dyal, P., Linse, K., Vilvens, C. & Kano, Y. 2013. Cenozoic climate change and diversification on the continental shelf and slope: evolution of gastropod diversity in the family Solariellidae (Trochoidea). Ecology and Evolution 3(4):887-917.
- Griffiths O.L. & Herbert, D. G. 2013. New species of land snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from two isolated karst formations in central western Madagascar: Tsingy Beanka and Antsingimavo, with additional notes on other regional endemics. African Invertebrates 54:1-48.
- Herbert, D.G. 2012. A revision of the Chilodontidae (Gastropoda: Vetigastropoda: Seguenzioidea) of southern Africa and the south-western Indian Ocean. African Invertebrates 53(2): 381-502.
- Herbert, D.G 2012. Myosotella myosotis (Mollusca: Ellobiidae) - an overlooked but well-established introduced species in South Africa. African Journal of Marine Science 34(3): 459-464.
- Herbert, D.G. & Rowson, B. 2011. Pupa menkeana Pfeiffer, 1853, type species of the speciose land snail genus Gulella Pfeiffer, 1856: correction of longstanding misidentification and designation of neotype (Mollusca: Eupulmonata: Streptaxidae). African Invertebrates 52(2): 233-242.
- Herbert, D.G. & Bouchet, P. 2011. CHILODONTIDAE Macalister, 1876 (Ciliophora), CHILODONTINAE Eigenmann, 1910 (Pisces, Characiformes), and CHILODONTINAE Wenz, 1938 (Mollusca, Gastropoda): proposed resolution of homonymy between family-group names. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 68(3): 175-179.
- Herbert, D.G & Moussalli, A. 2010. Revision of the larger cannibal snails (Natalina s.l.) of southern Africa — Natalina s.s., Afrorhytida and Capitina (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Rhytididae). African Invertebrates 51(1): 1–131.
- Lovell, S., Hamer, M., Slotow, R. & Herbert D. 2010. Assessment of sampling approaches for a multi-taxa invertebrate survey in a South African savanna-mosaic ecosystem. Austral Ecology 35: 357–370.
- Lovell, S., Hamer, M., Slotow, R. & Herbert D. 2009. An assessment of the use of volunteers for terrestrial invertebrate biodiversity surveys. Biodiversity and Conservation 18: 3295–3307.
- Cole, M.L. & Herbert, D.G. 2009. Description of four new species of Gulella Pfeiffer, 1856 from Eastern Cape, South Africa, with additional notes on two poorly known species (Mollusca: Eupulmonata: Streptaxidae). Zoologishe Mededelingen 83(6): 547–564.
- Moussalli, A., Herbert, D.G. and Stuart-Fox, D. 2009. A phylogeny of the cannibal snails of southern Africa, genus Natalina sensu lato (Pulmonata: Rhytididae): assessing concordance between morphology and molecular data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52(1): 167–182. (Impact factor 3.9)
- Herbert, D.G. & Mitchell, A. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic land snail genus Prestonella (Mollusca: Stylommatophora: Orthalicoidea) – the missing African element in the Gondwanan family Bulimulidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96: 203–221.
- Nangammbi, T.C. & Herbert, D.G. 2008. A new pheasant shell from the south-western Indian Ocean (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Vetigastropoda: Phasianellidae). African Invertebrates 49: 13–19.
- Smith, G.F., Buys, M., Walters, M., Herbert, D. & Hamer, M. 2008. Taxonomic research in South Africa: the state of the discipline. South African Journal of Science 104: 254–256.
- Herbert, D.G. 2007. Revision of the genus Prestonella (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Orthalicoidea: Bulimulidae s.l.), a distinctive component of the African land snail fauna. African Invertebrates 48: 1–19.
- Grundlingh, M.L., von St Ange, U.B., Bolton, J.J., Bursey, M., Compangno, L., Cooper, R., Drapeau, L., Griffiths, C.L., bel Hassen, M., Herbert, D.G., Kirkman, S., Ohland, D., Robertson, H., Trinder-Smith, T., van der Westhuysen, J., Verheye, H.M., Coetzer, W. & Wilke, C. 2007. OBIS: a marine biogeographic information system for sub-Saharan Africa. South African Journal of Science 103: 91–93.
- Lovell, S.J., Hamer, M., Slotow, R. & Herbert D. 2007 Assessment of congruency across invertebrate taxa and taxonomic levels to identify potential surrogates. Biological Conservation 139: 113–125.
- Herbert, D.G. 2006. Rediscovery of the type species of Euonyma (Subulinidae) and observations on South African species of Gulella (Streptaxidae), with description of two new species (Gastropoda: Eupulmonata). Journal of Natural History 40(17–18): 1063–1081. [2006 impact factor: 0.631]
- Greathead, D., Lovell, S., Barraclough, D., Slotow, R., Hamer, M. & Herbert, D. 2006. An assessment of the fauna of Bombyliidae (Diptera) occurring in the Mkhuze, Phinda and False Bay Reserves (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa). African Invertebrates 47: 185–206.
- Nangammbi, T.C. & Herbert, D.G. 2006. Two new species of Tricolia Risso, 1826, from South Africa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Phasianellidae). African Invertebrates 47: 11–22.
- Seddon, M.B., Tattersfield, P., Herbert, D.G., Rowson, B., Lange, C.N., Ngereza, C., Warui, C.M. and Allen, J.A. 2005. Forest mollusc communities in Africa: what we have learned since Solem (1984). In: Cameron, R.A.D., Nekola, J.C., Pokryszko, B.M. and Wells, F.E. (Eds) Pattern and process in land mollusc diversity. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement No 68: 103–113.
- Allanson, B.R. & Herbert, D.G. 2005. A newly discovered population of the critically endangered false limpet Siphonaria compressa Allanson, 1958 (Pulmonata: Siphonariidae), with observations on its reproductive biology. South African Journal of Science 101: 95–97.
- Bursey, M.L. & Herbert, D.G. 2004. Four new narrow-range endemic species of Gulella from Eastern Cape, South Africa (Mollusca: Pulmonata: Streptaxidae). African Invertebrates 45: 249–262.
- Herbert, D.G. 2004. Natural science research in southern African museums: a Victorian anachronism or fundamental biodiversity science? South African Museums Association Bulletin 25(2): 32–38 (dated July 2000).
- Lydeard, C., Cowie, R.H., Ponder, W.F., Bogan, A.E., Bouchet, P., Clarke, S.A., Cummings, K.S., Frest, T.J., Gargominy, O., Herbert, D.G., Hershler, R., Perez, K.E., Roth, B., Seddon, M., Strong, E.E. and Thompson, F.G. 2004. The Global Decline of Non-marine Mollusks. BioScience 54(4): 321–330.
- Herbert, D.G., Hamer, M.L., Mander, M., Mkhize, N. & Prins, F. 2003. The use of invertebrate animals in the traditional medicine trade in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Invertebrates 44(2): 327–344.
- Herbert, D.G. 2002. Gulella salpinx sp. n. a new, critically endangered, holoendemic species from the limestone deposits of the Marble Delta, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Streptaxidae). African Invertebrates 43: 125–138.
- Barraclough, D.A. & Herbert, D.G. 2001. Editorial. African Invertebrates 42: i–ii.
- Herbert, D.G. & Sirgel, W.F. 2001. The recent introduction of two potentially pestiferous alien snails in South Africa and the outcomes of differing pest management practices: an eradication and a colonisation. South African Journal of Science 97(7/8): 301–304.
- Herbert, D.G. 2001. Museum natural science and the NRF: crisis times for practitioners of fundamental biodiversity science. South African Journal of Science 97(5/6): 168–172.
- Herbert, D.G. 2000. Natural science in museums: life between a rock and a hard place. South African Museums Association Bulletin 24(1): 80–84.
- Herbert, D.G. 2000. Dining on diplopods: remarkable feeding behaviour in chlamydephorid slugs (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Journal of Zoology, London 251(1): 1–5. (cover photograph)
- Herbert, D.G. & Warén, A.1999. South African Mollusca described by Ferdinand Krauss, their current status and notes on type material housed in the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Stockholm. Annals of the Natal Museum 40: 205–243.
- Herbert, D.G. 1999. Siphonaria compressa, South Africa’s most endangered marine mollusc. South African Journal of Science 95: 77–79.
- Gibbons, M.J. et al. (including Herbert, D.G.) 1999. The taxonomic richness of South Africa’s marine fauna: a crisis at hand. South African Journal of Science 95: 8–12.
- Herbert, D. & Whitelaw, G. 1998. An environmental manifesto for the greater Pietermaritzburg area. Natalia 28: 53–63.
- Herbert, D.G. 1998. Revision of the genus Calliotrochus Fischer, 1879 (Gastropoda: Trochoidea). Invertebrate Taxonomy 12: 545–565.
- Gofas, S. & Herbert, D.G. 1998. Osilinus Philippi, 1847 (Mollusca: Trochidae): proposed conservation of usage by suppression of an earlier, unused type species designation. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 55(1): 9–13.
- Herbert, D.G. 1997. The terrestrial slugs of KwaZulu-Natal: diversity, biogeography and conservation (Mollusca: Pulmonata). Annals of the Natal Museum 38: 197–239.
- Kilburn, D. & Herbert, D. 1997. Crisis at the Natal Museum. South African Museums Association Bulletin 23(1): 26–27.
- Barraclough, B.A., Londt, J.G.H., Stuckenberg, B.R., Hamer, M., Kilburn, R.N. & Herbert, D.G. 1996. Some South African scientific journals do have their merits. South African Journal of Science 92: 281.
- Herbert, D.G. 1996. A critical review of the trochoidean types in the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Bordeaux (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Bulletin du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, série 4, A 18(3–4): 409–445.
- Herbert, D.G. 1996. Observations on Clanculus tonnerrei (G. & H. Nevill, 1874) (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae). Tropical Zoology 9(1): 31–45.
- Herbert, D.G. 1995. A new species of Thysanodontinae from South Africa (Mollusca: Trochoidea). Annals of the Natal Museum 36: 255–259.
- Herbert, D.G. 1995. Patella longicosta Lamarck, 1819 (Mollusca: Gastropoda): proposed conservation of specific name. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 52(3): 234–235.
- Herbert, D.G. 1995. Comment on the southern African limpets described from the Demidoff collection by Fischer von Waldheim (1807). Apex 10: 25–26.
- Herbert, D.G. 1994. A note on Peristernia zealandica (Kobelt in Küster & Kobelt, 1876) (Gastropoda: Fasciolariidae). Journal of Conchology 35: 125–129.
- Herbert, D.G. 1994. Notes on synonymy within the genus Priotrochus Fischer, 1879, (Prosobranchia: Trochidae). Annals of the Natal Museum 35: 139–151.
- Bonfitto, A., Sabelli, B., Tommasini, S. & Herbert, D. 1994. Marine molluscan taxa from Mozambique described by G. G. Bianconi and preserved in the Zoological Museum of the University of Bologna. Annals of the Natal Museum 35: 133–138.
- Kilburn, R.N. & Herbert, D.G. 1994. ‘Then a-dredging we will go, wise boys’ – an outline of the Natal Museum Dredging Programme. South African Journal of Science 90: 446–448.
- Herbert, D.G. 1994. Trochus kotschyi Philippi, 1849, the first Indian Ocean record of the genus Osilinus (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae). Journal of Zoology, London 233: 345–357.
- Herbert, D.G. 1993. Clanculus largillierti (Philippi, 1849) rediscovered in the Mascarene Islands (Gastropoda: Trochidae). Annals of the Natal Museum 34(2): 309–316.
- Herbert, D.G. 1993. Revision of the Trochinae, tribe Trochini in southern Africa (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Annals of the Natal Museum 34(2): 239–308.
- Herbert, D.G. 1992. 'Solariella' fuscomaculata – a molluscan 'LBJ'. Electron Microscopy Society of southern Africa 22: 123–124.
- Herbert, D.G. 1992. Revision of the Umboniinae (Mollusca: Prosobranchia: Trochidae) in southern Africa and Mozambique. Annals of the Natal Museum 33(2): 379–459.
- Herbert, D.G. & Kilburn R.N. 1991. The occurrence of Pisulina (Neritidae) and Neritopsis (Neritopsidae) in southern Africa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Neritoidea). Annals of the Natal Museum 32: 319–323.
- Herbert, D.G. 1991. New records of Mollusca from southern Africa and Mozambique. Part 1. (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Annals of the Natal Museum 32: 305–318.
- Herbert, D.G. 1991. A revision of the genus Agagus Jousseaume, 1894 (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae). Journal of Natural History 25: 883–900.
- Herbert, D.G. 1991. Foraminiferivory in a Puncturella (Gastropoda: Fissurellidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 57(1): 127–129.
- Herbert, D.G. 1990. Designation of lectotype and type locality for Haliotis rugosa Lamarck, 1822 (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Haliotidae). Annals of the Natal Museum 31: 207–213.
- Herbert, D.G. 1990. A note on Calliostoma multiliratum auctt. (non Sowerby, 1875) in South Africa. (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae). Annals of the Natal Museum 31: 201–205.
- Herbert, D.G. 1989. A remarkable new species of Diodora Gray, 1821 (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Fissurellidae) from south-east Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum 30: 173–176.
- Herbert, D.G. 1989. Pagodatrochus, a new genus for Minolia variabilis H. Adams, 1873 (Gastropoda: Trochidae). Journal of Molluscan Studies 55: 365–372.
- Herbert, D.G. 1988. A new species of Priotrochus (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae) from south-east Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum 29(2): 503–507.
- Herbert, D.G. 1988. Observations on the southern African fissurellids Cosmetalepas africana and Macroschisma africana (Mollusca: Prosobranchia: Fissurellidae). Annals of the Natal Museum 29(2): 491–501.
- Herbert, D.G. 1988. Studies on Priotrochus obscurus and the systematic position of Priotrochus (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Trochidae). Journal of Zoology, London 214(2): 261–268.
- Herbert, D.G. 1987. A revision of the Solariellinae (Mollusca: Prosobranchia: Trochidae) in southern Africa. Annals of the Natal Museum 28(2): 283–382.
- Herbert, D.G. 1987. Taxonomic studies on the Emarginulinae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Fissurellidae) of southern Africa and Mozambique. Hemitoma, Clypidina, Tugali, Scutus, Zeidora and two species of Emarginula. South African Journal of Zoology 22(1): 1–13.
- Herbert, D.G. & Kilburn, R.N. 1986. Taxonomic studies on the Emarginulinae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Fissurellidae) of southern Africa and Mozambique. Emarginula, Emarginella, Puncturella, Fissurisepta and Rimula. South African Journal of Zoology 21(1): 1–27.
- Herbert , D.G. 1982. Fine structural observations on the juxtaganglionar organ of Gibbula umbilicalis (da Costa). Journal of Molluscan Studies 48(2): 226–228.