Philippines harboring world’s tiniest snail?
Rudy Fernandez (The Philippine Star) - October 11, 2018 - 12:00am

 LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines — The Philippines could be  harboring the world’s tiniest snail.

A team of Filipino scientists and researchers are now studying the “Lilliputian” snails and micro mollusks they discovered in the mountain fastness of Cebu.

The scientific study, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), is titled “Flora and Fauna Assessment Using Permanent Biodiversity Monitoring System in Cebu Island Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).”

Programmed to be completed in December 2020, the research is being undertaken by  the government’s Niche Center for Research and Development program.

The possible new species of land snails and mollusks were found in four key biodiversity areas in three mountains in Cebu: Mt. Lantoy in  Argao town; Mt. Lanaya in Malabuyog, and Mt. Kapayan in Catmon.

Headed by Archiebald Malaki, the researchers identified more than 23 species of land snails. The team also collected species of eight unidentified land snails and 17 unidentified species of micro mollusks – a very small invertebrate with a soft unsegmented body and an external shell.

“It is possible that the team found the tiniest snail in the world from the unidentified species of micro mollusks,” said the team’s Raamah Rosales, as quoted by Maria Kristina AbigaIl Lapitan and Eireen Grace Zaragoza of the Los Baños-based DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development.

Aside from the possible new species of land snails and micro mollusks, the project team also discovered a new island record of the Northern Temple Pit Viper and itom-itom fruit bat.

“This fruit-eating bat turns out to be a leaf-eating bat as well,” Malaki said.

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
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