Significant find: The 'Charopa lafargei' was found in the northernmost part of Gunung Kanthan in Ipoh.
IPOH: A new species of snail has been discovered in Perak and named after the cement company quarrying the hill it was found on.
Found by two Malaysians in 2011, Charopa lafargei is only 1.4mm tall and takes its name after Lafarge, which is currently mining the limestone hill Gunung Kanthan.
Published in a scientific journal
by the Netherlands Malacological Society on Aug 17, the report said the snail was found on the hill’s northern region.
“On a species level, it is uniquely identified among West Malaysian charopidae by its conical shell and high, lamella-shaped radial ribs,” the report, co-authored by Dutch taxonomist Jaap Van Vermuelen and Malaysian Mohammad Effendi Marzuki, said.
It added that the snail was found on leaf litter at the base of a limestone cliff and termed as “presumed narrowly endemic”, meaning that it was found only in a small area and that more surveys needed to be done to be sure.
“We named this species Charopa lafargei after Lafarge, whose declared goals for biodiversity include minimising and avoiding damage to important habitats,” the report said.
Speaking to The Star via e-mail, Vermuelen said the snail was discovered by Mohammad and Liew Thor Seng, a biologist currently based at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.
“These adapted species often occur confined to a single hill or a small group of hills, and are found nowhere else in the world. Charopa lafargei may be such a species,” he said.