'Newly-defined land snail species named as a tribute to human diversity'
Image credits: Chih-Wei Huang (the top one through Wikipedia, and the bottom one through their research article and republished here)
Scientists from the Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University and the Biodiversity Research Center, have named a newly-categorised snail species in dedication of equal marriage rights efforts.
"When we were preparing the manuscript," Dr. Lee explains, "it was a period when Taiwan and many other countries and states were struggling for the recognition of same-sex marriage rights. It reminded us that Pulmonata land snails are hermaphrodite animals, which means they have both male and female reproductive organs in single individual. They represent the diversity of sex orientation in the animal kingdom. 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."
Now identified as a species of its own, it bears the name Aegista diversifamilia. It usually lives in lowland forests, in or under moist leaf litter, and is endemic to eastern Taiwan. The western variety retains diversifamilia’s old name - Aegista subchinensis.