RARE SLUG FROM DRAKENSBERG
Over a 130 years ago, Henry Clifden Burnup (1852–1928), lived in Pietermaritzburg and was, essentially, the founder of the molluscan collection in the KZN Museum. While collecting molluscs in the environs of Pietermaritzburg, he found a peculiar slug that he had never seen before. He sent it to Edgar Albert Smith (1847–1916), an assistant keeper of the Zoological Department of the British Museum and the president of the Conchological Society at that time. In 1892, Smith described a new species based on that specimen and named it after Burnup. Only five observations of this species were made in the following 62 years until Swiss malacologist Lothar H. E. W. Forcart (1902–1990) found this species for the first time in the Drakensberg. Our scientists revisited that locality a few months ago and found this species again, 68 years after Forcart collected it there in 1954. Considering that fewer than a couple dozen observations of this species were made in total since 1892, it is a reassuring rediscovery for the survival of this population and the entire species.
Photo: A rare slug, – Chlamydephorus burnupi (E.A. Smith, 1892) has been found again after 68 years at the same locality in the Drakensberg.