Siput Kuning literally means "yellow snail" in the Malay Language. It is named after the striking colours of the Perak Amphidromus Tree Snail, Amphidromus atricallosus perakensis (Gould 1843). This beautiful snail catalysed my enthusiasm for terrestrial mollusca and has since formed an extension to my general interest in the world of snails, clams, nudibranchs and nautiluses, among others.
It was during an arduous trek to photograph the Rafflesia in the deep mountains of Lojing Highlands, Kelantan with the Orang Asli (Indigenous people) that I've first initiated my quest to explore the Malaysian rainforest for landsnails.
"Hutan ini ada Siput Kuning tak? (Are there any yellow snails in this forest?)" I questioned my experienced guide. He pointed towards the furious torrent of brown river water down below the forested gorge. "Sana ada (Over there)" he replied. Obviuously, he might have interpreted my request as river snails. I rephrased: "Siput Kuning atas pokok, atas pohon. (Yellow snails that lives on trees, branches.)" He have not seen them before, he admit.
We continued on. Soon, a prominent boulder along the path attracted my attention. Jackpot! A myriad of broken snail shells lie around the base of the rock. There was the common montane snail Hemiplecta floweri (Smith 1899) and then there was the velvety black broken fragments of the extremely rare Platymma tweediei (Tomlin 1948). But tucked at one corner is what I've been looking for- the Amphidromus tree snail! Apparently, even locals are not aware of the landsnail's presence.
This experience has since fuelled my enthusiasm to study the elusive landsnails that inhabit many nooks and crannies of the country as well as the region. This blog serves to share my adventures and views about them and their marine counterparts as well as any other topics of interest with everyone. Hope you'll enjoy it!
(Note: All snails featured here came from Kampung Ulu Geruntum, Gopeng and Gua Tempurung. Both locations are in the state of Perak, Malaysia.)