Monday, October 13, 2014

Snail named for marriage equality

A new species of hermaphrodite land snail found in Taiwan has been named in support of marriage equality.

Biologists christened the species Aegista diversifamilia, referring to a diversity of family types, because it 'represents the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom'.

The snail is widespread throughout eastern Taiwan, but was previously mistaken for a closely related species.

Its discovery is reported in the journal ZooKeys.

'When we were preparing the manuscript, it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights,' said Dr Yen-Chang Lee, who first suggested the snail might entail its own species.

'It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in a single individual.

'We decided that maybe this is a good occasion to name the snail to remember the struggle for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights.'