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Bram Breure

Dr. A.S.H. (Bram) Breure, Research associate


Email: bram.breure@naturalis.nl
Phone: +31 (0)6 23 81 44 91
Room number: Darwinweg 4 (flexplek)


Enjoying a 'Cyclic Career', I started in the 1960s with an interest in land and freshwater snails. During my study Biology at Utrecht University I became involved in a study ofBulimulus from the West Indies. This evolved in a life-long interest in Neotropical malacology. After finishing my studies at Leiden University, I worked five years at the Rijksmuseum voor Natuurlijke Historie (the precursor of Naturalis). Having done my Ph.D. thesis in 1979 (Systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of Bulimulinae (Mollusca); promotor: prof.dr J.T. Wiebes), I followed a non-university career through different avenues.

Since 2007 I re-started my malacological research on Neotropical land-snails and became an Associate Researcher of Naturalis.


Research interest

Systematics, biogeography, evolution  and conservation of Neotropical land snails (Mollusca)

Land snails are very suitable to study evolutionary mechanisms and biogeographical patterns. They can be relatively easily sampled and, because of their low dispersal abilities, are good model organisms for various research themes. Many snails are vulnerable to habitat changes and conservation remains a poorly studied topic in malacology.

Within this broad field, I'm specialized in Neotropical land snails and especially those of the family Orthalicidae sensu lato. This a very speciose group (~1570 species in ca. 50 genera) and highly diverse, ranging from the southern United States of America to southern South America. The group has a Gondwanan origin, still represented in South Africa (1 genus, few species), southern Australia (1 genus, many species) and the southwestern Pacific (several genera, many species).

My main interests are:

How species can be identified. Taxonomy is the basis of many other research fields, including the following.

Which species are found where and why. How can patterns of occurence be explained by historical biogeography, biotic and abiotic factors. I'm also interested in the application of species distribution modelling.

How taxa evolved and what factors are governing this process. Phylogenetic relationships are more than DNA Barcodes.

What species tell us about their habitat and how it has changed or might do so in the future.


neotropical, evolution, mollusca, phylogeny

Current research topics

Biogeography of Neotropical land snails

Several ongoing studies on e.g. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and the West Indies. One of the subprojects is aimed at speciation processes in the Guayana Highlands.


Phylogenetics of the Orthalicoidea

The taxonomy at the higher levels in this group is in disarray and needs an in-depth study, including DNA-research, to solve several nomenclatural issues and shed more light on the evolution of this group.


3D visualization in land snail anatomy

Traditional methods of studying internal structures of land snails are typically destructive, such as dissection and histological sectioning. Such techniques are unsuitable for type material, historical or rare museum specimens. Micro CT has been used as an alternative, non-destructive method for studying snail anatomy, and is especially useful for the examination of soft tissue structures such as the genitalia, as their proper shape and placement can be visualised in-situ. This methodology is now further explored and the diversified Orthalicoidea are used as a model group to study further applications.


Miscellaneous notes

Peculiar behaviour was observed in Drymaeus flexuosus (Pfeiffer, 1853) in Colombia. Video by courtesy of Andres Quintero.  Anyone who has observed the same behaviour in whatever species, please contact me with details.  

A very range-restricted West Indian land snail, Cerion nanus (Maynard, 1889), described from a few tiny patches on Little Cayman Island, BWI, was long thought to be extinct. It is listed on the IUCN Red List. Recently a hibernating specimen was observed and local scientists hope to find living specimens later this year when the rains have come. 
A presentation by Pat Shipman and Alan Walker on this interesting case may be found here.


Jonathan Ablett, National History Museum, London, U.K.

Dr. Lisa Kirkendale, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia

Prof. Valentín Mogollón, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, Peru

Dr. Luiz Simone, Museu de Zoologia, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Corey Whisson, Western Australian Museum, Perth, Australia

Supervision PhDs


There are opportunities for PhD (and MSc candidates), please contact me.


There are opportunities for PhD (and MSc candidates) candidates, please contact me.




M.Sc. students interested in snails and willing to do some field work in the Neotropics, should consult this document. There is also a possibility to work on evolution of Orthalicoidea; contact me for further details.

Available student projects

Public outreach

Personal website: www.ashbreure.nl, breure.wordpress.com (with a - quite - regular blog on malacological subjects), huntingforsnails.wordpress.com (blog on snails in art).


Naturalis Repository

See also http://www.ashbreure.nl/ for full text of many papers.


Salvador, R.B., D.C. Cavallari & A.S.H. Breure. Corrigendum to “Taxonomic revision of Leiostracus onager and Leiostracus subtuszonatus (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Orthalicidae)” by Salvador & Cavallari (2013). -Journal of Conchology 41: 627-628.

Breure, A.S.H., L. Álvarez Lajonchere & A. González Guillén. Color-full and eye-catching: an iconography of Liguus land shells (Gastropoda, Orthalicidae). - Archiv für Molluskenkunde 143: 1–19.

Breure, A.S.H. & J.D. Ablett. Annotated type catalogue of the Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London. - ZooKeys 392: 1-367.


Breure, A.S.H.. Annotated type catalogue of Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. - ZooKeys 279: 1-101. 
Breure, A.S.H. The Pantepui malacofauna: land snails of Churí-tepui and other tepuis in southern Venezuela and adjacent areas. In: R. Aubrecht & J. Schlögl (eds.) Venezuelan tepuis - their caves and biota: 113-124. Acta Geologica Slovaca - Monograph, Comenius University, Bratislava. PDF


Breure, A.S.H. Living in isolation: Plekocheilus (P.) philippei spec.nov. from Venezuelan Guayana (Gastropoda, Amphibulimidae). - Basteria 76: 101-106.
Breure, A.S.H. Book review (Linares & Vera). - Basteria 76: 100.
Breure, A.S.H. & Miquel, S.E. More than a number: clarifying the dates of publication of some papers of A. Doering on land and freshwater shells from Argentina, and a note on his taxon Clessinia (Odontostomidae). - Zootaxa 3572: 18-22.
Breure, A.S.H. The status of the genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847, with description of a new subfamily (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). - ZooKeys 216: 1-3. 
Breure, A.S.H. & Romero, P.E. Support and surprises: a new molecular phylogeny of the land snail superfamily Orthalicoidea (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) using a multi-locus gene analysis.-  Archiv für Molluskenkunde 141: 1-20.
Breure, A.S.H. & Whisson, C.S. Annotated type catalogue of Bothriembryon (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in Australian museums. - ZooKeys 194: 41-80. 
Breure, A.S.H. & Ablett, J.D. Annotated type catalogue of the Amnphibulimidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London. - ZooKeys 138: 1-52.
Breure, A.S.H. Weyrauch's type localities: a clarification; with illustrations of types of Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Stylommatophora) in the Tucuman museum. - Folia conchyliologica 17: 4-24.


Breure, A.S.H. Helicina duo, new name for H. sanctaemartae Breure, 1977, not H. santaemarthae Pilsbry & Clapp, 1902 (Gastropoda, Neritomorpha, Helicinidae). - Basteria75: 55-56.
Gonzalez, A. & Breure, A.S.H. Additions to the Bibliography of Cuban terrestrial Mollusca. -Basteria 75: 35-37.
Breure, A.S.H. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Royal Belgian Institute of Sciences, Brussels, with descriptions of two new species. -ZooKeys 101: 1-50. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.101.1133 
Breure, A.S.H. Dangling shells and dangerous spiders: malacophagy and mimicry in terrestrial gastropods. - Folia conchyliologica 7: 7-13. 
Borrero, F.J. & Breure, A.S.H. The Amphibulimidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Orthalicoidea) from Colombia and adjacent areas. - Zootaxa 3054: 1-59.
Breure, A.S.H. & Ablett, J.D. Annotated type catalogue of the Amnphibulimidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Orthalicoidea) in the Natural History Museum, London. - ZooKeys 138: 1-52.
Breure, A.S.H. & Faber, W. Book review (Massemin et al.). - Basteria 75: 94.


Breure, A.S.H. The rediscovery of a semi-slug: Coloniconcha prima Pilsbry, 1933 (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from Hispaniola. - Basteria 74: 78-86. 
Breure, A.S.H. & V. Mogollón. Well-known and little-known: miscellaneous notes on Peruvian Orthalicidae (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora). - Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden84: 15-34.  
Breure, A.S.H. Book review (Espinosa & Ortea, Moluscos terrestres de Cuba). - Basteria 74: 32. 
Breure, A.S.H., D.S.J. Groenenberg & M. Schilthuizen. New insights in the phylogenetic relations within the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca: Gastropoda), based on 28S sequence data. -Basteria 74: 25-31. 
Breure, A.S.H. & A. Gonzalez. Bibliography of Cuban terrestrial Mollusca, including related and biohistorical papers on Cuban malacology. NCB Technical Bulletin (Leiden) 12: 1-35.
Breure, A.S.H. & J. Schlogl. Additional notes on Orthalicidae from the Chimanta massif, Venezuelan Guayana, with descriptions of new species of Plekocheilus Guilding, 1828 (Mollusca: Gastropoda) - Zootaxa 2416: 51-60.
Cuezzo, M.G., C. Valdovinos & A.S.H. BreureDiscoleus Breure, 1978: Is there a pre-Gondwanan ancient stock of Orthalicidae? (Mollusca, Stylommatophora). Poster, VI Southern Connection congress, 14-19 February 2010, Bariloche, Argentina.
Breure, A.S.H., D.S.J. Groenenberg & M. Schilthuizen. Gondwana revisited: new insights in the phylogenetic relationships within the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Stylommatophora). Poster, VI Southern Connection congress, 14-19 February 2010, Bariloche, Argentina.


Breure, A.S.H. Landslakken uit Suriname: een nieuwe start in een oude traditie. - Spirula368: 75-77. 
Breure, A.S.H. Slakken als veelvraat: een experiment met een onverwacht resultaat. -Spirula 368: 71-72.
Breure, A.S.H.  Dr. A.C. van Bruggen - 80 jaar. - Spirula 368: 50-51.
Robinson, D.G., A. Hovestadt, A. Fields & A.S.H. Breure. The land Mollusca of Dominica, Lesser Antilles, with notes on some enigmatic or rare species. – Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83: 615-650. 
Mogollón, V. & A.S.H. Breure. José Julián Bravo (1874-1927), a hitherto unknown conchologist from Peru. – Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83: 601-613. 
Breure, A.S.H., E. Gittenberger, W.J.M. Maassen & A.J. de Winter. In and out of Africa: Dr A.C. van Bruggen, keen educator and eminent biologist. – Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83: 509-524.
Breure, A.S.H., C. Smeenk & A.J. de Winter (eds.). Festschrift for Dr A.C. van Bruggen on the occasion of his 80th birthday. – Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 83: i-viii, 509-776. 
Breure, A.S.H. & A.C. van Bruggen. Collecties, veldwerk en onderzoek aan tropische landslakken: Nederlandse bijdragen gedurende méér dan 75 jaar. In: Cadée, G.C., Leeuwen, S. van & Poorten, J.J. ter (eds.), Schitterende schelpen en slijmerige slakken, 75 jaar NMV: malacologie als hobby en professie: 65-70. - Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging, Leiden. 
Faber, W., A.S.H. Breure & J.P. Buijs. Een geslaagd huwelijk: de fusie tussen NMV en BM. In: Cadée, G.C., Leeuwen, S. van & Poorten, J.J. ter (eds.), Schitterende schelpen en slijmerige slakken, 75 jaar NMV: malacologie als hobby en professie: 90-91. - Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging, Leiden. 
Breure, A.S.H. New Orthalicidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda) from the Guayana Highlands, Venezuela: unravelling secrets from the Lost World. - Zootaxa 2065: 25-50. 
Breure, A.S.H. Radiation in land snails on Venezuelan tepui islands. In: Cohen, A. et al. (eds.) Evolutionary islands: 150 years after Darwin, Abstracts: 38. 
Borrero, F.J., A.S.H. Breure, C. Christensen, M. Correoso & V. Mogollón Avila. Into the Andes: three new introductions of Lissachatina fulica (Gastropoda, Achatinidae) and its potential distribution in South America. - Tentacle 17: 6-8. 


Breure, A.S.H. Carination strikes the eye: extreme shell shapes and sibling species in three Andean genera of the Orthalicidae (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora). - Zoologische Mededelingen Leiden 82: 499-514. 
Breure, A.S.H. & E. Neubert. A preliminary revision of Weyrauch's unpublished names: taxa of the genus Bostryx Troschel, 1847 (Gastropoda, Pulmonata). - Basteria 72: 319-330. 
Breure, A.S.H. Mysterious or confusing: enigmatic species in the Orthalicidae (Gastropoda, Pulmonata). - Basteria 72: 241-252. 
Borrero, F.J. & A.S.H. Breure. Species distribution modeling: A Neotropical case with land snails of the family Orthalicidae. - Abstracts Annual Meeting American Malacological Society, Carbondale: 4. 
Breure, A.S.H. & F.J. Borrero. An annotated checklist of the land snail family Orthalicidae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Orthalicoidea) in Ecuador, with notes on the distribution of the mainland species. - Zootaxa 1768: 1-40. 


Breure, A.S.H. Book review (Simone - Land and freswater molluscs of Brazil). - Basteria 71 (1-3): 96. 


Vermeulen, J.J., A.J. de Winter & A.S.H. Breure. Handleiding voor het verzamelen van landslakken in vochtig-tropische gebieden [Guide to the collection of land snails in humid tropical areas]. - Informatieblad Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging 11: 1-16. 


Restrepo, C. & A.S.H. Breure. Drymaeus zingarensis, a new land snail from Colombia (Gastropoda Pulmonata: Bulimulidae). - Basteria 51 (4-6): 141-144. 


Breure, A.S.H. & J. R. Schouten. Notes on and descriptions of Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda), 3. - Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 211: 1-98. 


Breure, A.S.H. Survey of the land Mollusca of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. In: T. van der Hammen and P.M. Ruiz (eds.) La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Colombia), Transecto Buritaca – La Cumbre. Studies Tropical Andean Ecosystems 2: 487-500. Berlin-Stuttgart, J. Cramer Verlag. 


Breure, A.S.H. & E. Gittenberger. The rock-scraping radula, a striking case of convergence (Mollusca). - Netherlands Journal of Zoology 32 (3): 307-312. 


Breure, A.S.H. & A.A.C. Eskens. Notes on and descriptions of Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda), 2. - Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 186: 1-111. 


Breure, A.S.H. Taxonomical, ecological and zoogeographical research on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Pulmonata). - Malacologia 18 (1-2): 107-114. 
Breure, A.S.H. Systematics, phylogeny and zoogeography of Bulimulinae (Mollusca). -Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 168: 1-215. 
Breure, A.S.H. [The interest of revisions above species level]. - Correspondentieblad van de Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging . (in Dutch). 


Breure, A.S.H. & G. Coppois. Notes on the genus Naesiotus Albers, 1850 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). - Netherlands Journal of Zoology 28 (2): 161-192. 
Breure, A.S.H. Notes on and descriptions of Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda). -Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 164: 1-255. 


Breure, A.S.H. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 5. On some collections from Colombia. - Archiv für Molluskenkunde 107: 257-270. 
Breure, A.S.H. Systematic research on the family of land snails Bulimulidae. - WOTRO Report 1976: 41-43. 
Ploeger, S. & A.S.H. Breure. A rapid procedure for preparation of radulae for routine research with the Scanning Electron Microscope. - Basteria 41: 47-52. 
Breure, A.S.H. Anisospira velascorum, a new land snail from Mexico, with notes on the anatomy and histology (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Urocoptidae). - Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 51 (19): 299-305.
Breure, A.S.H. & S. Ploeger. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 6. The structure in the radula in some Simpulopsis species. - Basteria 41: 59-64. 
Araujo, J.L.B. & A.S.H. Breure. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 7. Anatomy and histology of Simpulopsis (Simpulopsis) miersi Pfeiffer, 1856. - Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 52 (3): 19-25. 
Breure, A.S.H. & A.A.C. Eskens. Observations on the formation of spermatophores in a Bulimulid land snail, Drymaeus canaliculatus (Pfeiffer, 1845) (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Pulmonata). - Netherlands Journal of Zoology 27 (3): 271-276. 
Breure, A.S.H. Some land molluscs from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. -Netherlands Journal of Zoology 27 (3): 299-304. 


Breure, A.S.H. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 3. Bulimulus trindadensis sp.n. from Ilha da Trindade, Brazil. - Basteria 40: 3-6. 
Breure, A.S.H. Helicina (Helicina) microdina huberi subspec.nov., a new land snail from northern Venezuela and Colombia. - Basteria 40: 143-145. 
Breure, A.S.H. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 4. Some Bulimulidae from French Guyana and Surinam, with notes on their anatomy. - Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden) 50 (7): 107-115. 
Breure, A.S.H. Over de landmollusken van het Nationale Park "Henri Pittier", Venezuela. -Correspondentieblad van de Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging 172: 569-572. (in Dutch). 
Breure, A.S.H. Types of Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura) in the Zoologisches Museum, Universitat Zurich. In: Malacologische Opstellen, Feestbundel Malacologische Contactgroep Amsterdam: 1-4. Rotterdam, Backhuys Publishing. 


Breure, A.S.H. Types of Bulimulidae (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Muséum National D'histoire Naturelle, Paris. - Bulletin Museum Nationale d'Histoire Naturelle, (3) 331,Zoologie 233: 1137-1187. 
Breure, A.S.H. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 2. On a small collection of Simpulopsis Beck, 1837 from Southern Brazil, with description of three new species. -Basteria 39: 97-113. 
Breure, A.S.H. Over fossiele Bulimulus riisei (Pfeiffer) van St. Croix, Virgin Islands, West Indië. - Correspondentieblad van de Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging 166: 439-440. 
Breure, A.S.H. Bulimulus guadalupensis (Bruguière, 1789), een nieuwe soort voor de malacofauna van Curacao. - Correspondentieblad van de Nederlandse Malacologische Vereniging 166: 440-441. 
Breure, A.S.H. Description of a collecting trip in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. -De Kreukel 11 (7): 83-116. 
Breure, A.S.H. Caribbean land molluscs: Bulimulidae II. Plekocheilus and Naesiotus. -Studies Fauna Curacao and Caribbean Islands 152: 71-93.


Breure, A.S.H. Notes on land and freshwater Mollusca from Southern and Central Mexico. -De Kreukel 10 (10): 131-148. 
Breure, A.S.H. Catalogue of Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), II. Odontostominae. -Basteria 38: 109-127. 
Breure, A.S.H. Notes on Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), 1. Bulimulus smeurorum, new name for Bulimus simplex Hupé, 1857 not Bulimulus simplex Beck, 1837 nor Bulimus simplex Jonas, 1842. - Basteria 38: 13-15. 
Breure, A.S.H. Notes on the genus Gaeotis Shuttleworth, 1854 (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Bulimulidae). - Netherlands Journal of Zoology 24 (3): 236-252. 
Breure, A.S.H. Caribbean land molluscs: Bulimulidae I. Bulimulus. - Studies Fauna Curacao and Caribbean Islands 45: 1-80. 


Breure, A.S.H. Index to the Neotropical land Mollusca described by Alcide D'Orbigny, with notes on the localities of the mainland species. - Basteria 37: 113-135. 
Breure, A.S.H. Catalogue of Bulimulidae (Gastropoda, Euthyneura), I. Amphibuliminae. -Basteria 37: 51-56.

Please contact the author when you are interested in one of the articles above and it is not available online or in the repository [Repository].