sign in a cave in Laos

30 July 2008

Laos snail called Liz - Sinoennea lizae

On a caving expedition to Luang Nam Tha Province in northwest Laos, in January 2006, I collected some snails for identification. They were passed to Wim J.M.Maassen of the mollusc department in the National Museum of Natural History, at Leiden in The Netherlands.

Out of the snails I collected, he was able to describe 4 new species. And he named one of them after me! It is called Sinoennea lizae. The snail is very small, but it is still an honour for me! A big thank you to Wim for this, and also for his interest in identifying the snails.


  1. Congrat Liz! it's a beautiful snail!!!

  2. You are lucky lady. It is a big honour and should be treasured. My, Lycronathus liewi - R. West, do not come easy. I have to supply alot of reserch work and alot of specimens dead and alive over a 2-3 years period. Later after a year or two it was finally confirmed. Am I invited to a party dinner to celebrate your discovery ?

  3. Thanks guys.
    Yeshe........ what is Lycronathus liewi .......... I googled it but nothing came up.
    Maybe I should have collected more snails then we could have them for a dinner party :-)

  4. Call me when you have snail dinner party. L. liewi is a bird spider (tarantula) the size of a fist, lives up to 20 years. It is also known as the longest living spider.

  5. Found it, You spelt it wrong !!! Should be Lyrognathus . Must be an impressive creature, do you have any photos? I know its hard to identify spiders and it can take years as you have to wait until they are adults, and then use the genitalia for determining the species!
    I'm not so familiar with the theraphosids, I see more Heteropoda as they live in caves!

  6. Oh! I see ! I missed out the "g" Ok, thanks. Let me know where you found it. I like to read what they said. All my specimens and scientific papers are in my Taiping house. The furnitures and specimens are stacked up into 2 rooms and there is no way I can get into it. Wait till I moved every thing into my new house.

  7. I just googled Lyrognathus liewi and it brought up a lot about Lyrognathus genus, but nothing specifically on your species. Maybe its too new and no papers have been published yet..... although you said you had the papers in your house. Maybe you can google the scientist's name.

  8. Hear what the specialist, R. West, has to say : ..............................

    Hello KC ... I hope that is okay, I don't know your first name. ;-)

    It is very nice to hear from you after all these years. Ah, the advance of computer
    communication now ... it makes the world a smaller place.

    How are you doing ... do you still collect and sell tarantulas or are you retired?

    I am well ... older ... but well. I am 57 with three grandchildren now but still travel
    a lot and still do tarantula documentary films and study tarantulas.

    Coincidentially, we are working on the Lyrognathus and describing the male L. liewi
    later this year.

    I wait to hear news of you and possibly about Malaysian tarantulas. ;-)

    Best regards,


  9. Interesting, thanks
    Have you been following all the news about the tarantulas being indiscrimantly collected in recent years and exported for the pet trade , especially from Frasers Hill. I hope these people don't deplete the natural stock.

  10. Hi Liz,
    Because of you I go into all the trouble to show you the photo L. liewi. Please see my blog. As to your other question - NO, I don't know any news. We must get into the details and not just presumption. Can you tell me. I retired more than 10 years ago.