Filled with well-designed rope structures and hiking pathways, Masungi Georeserve rewards you with a panoramic view of Rizal province’s unique rock formations, vast caves and lush forests.
And it is here, in a nature park an hour-and-a-half’s drive away from Metro Manila, that the Hypselostoma latispira masungiensis was recently discovered.
Barely visible to the untrained eye, the new subspecies of microsnail measures about 5mm, or the size of a worker ant.
It was first spotted in 2017 by scientists from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños.
Harold Lipae, Angelique Estabillo, Ian Kendrich Fontanilla and Emmanuel Ryan de Chavez had initially thought it belonged to the same species as the microsnails found in Baguio City.
But they recently determined that the Masungi snail is bigger and has five apertural teeth inside its shell, compared to its Baguio cousin, which has four.
The Masungi microsnail can be found attached to the park’s limestone boulders, feeding on lichens and other vegetation, and you could probably encounter it when you take a hike around the park.