MANILA — In 2017, a group of researchers surveying mollusks in a popular ecotourism site east of the Philippine capital stumbled upon a tiny land snail with a unique “upside down shell.” It was a microsnail, its shell just about the size of an ant, and it was found crawling along the jagged limestone boulders of Masungi Georeserve, looking for lichens and other vegetation to feed on.  While the snail carries its shell in a typical position when it moves, with the pointed whorl at the top, when resting in crevices it moves its shell so that the whorl is underneath. The researchers said they spotted the Hypselostoma latispira masungiensis and its unique “upside down shell position” on the first day of their survey. Photo courtesy of the University of the Philippines Los Baños research team Emmanuel Ryan de Chavez, an associate professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and curator of mollusks at the UPLB Museum of National History, and his students were initially unable to identify it. But they later found an old paper describing a similar snail, called Hypselostoma latispira, found 200 kilometers (120 miles) away in upland Baguio City. “We initially identified the Masungi snail as Hypselostoma latispira,” de Chavez tells Mongabay. The group then went to Baguio City, some 250 km (180 mi) north of Manila, to closely examine the species. “However, upon further examination of the shell morphometrics and shape, and other taxonomically important characters, the Masungi Hypselostoma is different from…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer