A newly-discovered form of land snail has been named for a local animal doctor, according to a press release.
Mary “Robin” Gorrell, DVM, now shares her name with the snail ‘Triodopsis juxtidens robinae,’ found in southern West Virginia. Dr. Gorrell is originally from West Virginia, and enjoys outdoor adventures with her family and black Labrador dogs. She is part of the team at Bethel Animal Hospital.
The land snail subspecies, whose common name is the Brush Creek Threetooth, was named for Dr. Gorrell by her husband, conservation biologist Ken Hotopp. His environmental consulting company is Appalachian Conservation Biology.
Triodopsis juxtidens robinae is a forest-dwelling land snail approximately the size of a dime. The description of this snail form, discovered by Mr. Hotopp in a tributary valley of the upper Bluestone River, has been accepted for publication in the online journal ‘Zootaxa.’
Land snails are shy and graceful creatures, popularized most recently in the book ‘The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating,’ by Maine author Elizabeth Tova Bailey. They are important in forest ecosystems, where they help create soil, feed larger animals, host wildlife parasites, and move the nutrient calcium up the food chain.