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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984On-line version ISSN 1678-4375

Braz. J. Biol. vol.68 no.4 São Carlos Nov. 2008 



Taxonomic review of the genus Adelomelon (Gastropoda; Volutidae), based on type material


Revisão taxonômica do gênero Adelomelon (Gastropoda; Volutidae), com base em material-tipo



Wiggers, F.*; Veitenheimer-Mendes, IL.*

Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43435, sala 201, Campus do Vale, CEP 91501-970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil




The genus Adelomelon Dall, 1906 comprises a group of South American marine gastropods. We present updated information on the genus Adelomelon, with emphasis on the status and location of type material, including that of junior synonyms. Scaphella arnheimi Rivers, 1891 and Voluta paradoxa Lahille, 1895 are removed from the synonymy of Adelomelon ancilla (Lightfoot, 1758) and Adelomelon barattinii Klappenbach and Ureta, 1966 is included. The subgenus Weaveria Clench and Turner, 1964 is placed in synonymy with Adelomelon s.s. A key to the species of Adelomelon is provided.

Keywords: southwestern atlantic, Volutidae, taxonomy, Zidoninae, type material.


O gênero Adelomelon Dall, 1906 engloba um grupo de gastrópodes sul-americanos. Apresentamos informações atualizadas sobre o gênero Adelomelon, com ênfase no status e localização do material-tipo, também dos sinônimos juniores. Os táxons Scaphella arnheimi Rivers, 1891 e Voluta paradoxa Lahille, 1895 são removidos da lista sinonímica de Adelomelon ancilla (Lightfoot, 1758) e Adelomelon barattinii Klappenbach and Ureta, 1966 é incluído. Também o subgênero Waveria Clench and Turner, 1954 é colocado na lista sinonímica de Adelomelon s.s. e uma chave para as espécies de Adelomelon é apresentada.

Palavras-chave: sudoeste, revisão, Volutidae, taxonomia, Zidoninae, material-tipo.



1. Introduction

The genus Adelomelon Dall, 1906 was described to accommodate a group of South American gastropods, to which Dall (1906) referred as a "dull-colored group of South American volutes". Clench and Turner (1964) substantially revised the genus and resolved several taxonomic problems, especially regarding the proper identification of Adelomelon ancilla (Lightfoot, 1786) and Odontocymbiola magellanica (Gmelin, 1791).

Clench and Turner (1964) also described the species Adelomelon riosi, which they assigned to a new subgenus, Weaveria. The subgeneric arrangement proposed by Clench and Turner (1964) is still accepted by many authors. It consists of seven species distributed in three subgenera: Adelomelon s.s., Weaveria Clench and Turner, 1964, and Pachycymbiola Ihering, 1907. In a subsequent paper, Clench and Turner (1970) proposed that Adelomelon (?) subnodosa (Leach, 1814) be transferred to Odontocymbiola Clench and Turner, 1964, based on the anatomy of its radula.

Poppe and Goto (1992) proposed that the genera Adelomelon and Odontocymbiola are synonyms, although Adelomelon has radular teeth cuspids in the same plane and very short racemose salivary ducts, whereas Odontocymbiola has strongly curved, "fang-like" teeth, and very long racemose salivary ducts, as described by Clench and Turner (1964). Furthermore, Poppe and Goto (1992) proposed that the subgenus Pachycymbiola be elevated to genus status based solely on conchological characters; however, this arrangement has not been widely accepted and even criticized (Bondarev, 1996).

Herein, we present updated information on valid names and junior synonyms in the genus Adelomelon based on type material.


2. Material and Methods

This study is based on examination of type material and, in some cases, on high-resolution photographs sent by curators, together with comparisons of the original descriptions.

Institution names and abbreviations are as follows:

BMNH - British Museum of Natural History (or Natural History Museum), London

MCZ - Museum of Comparative Zoology

MHNG - Muséum d'Historie Naturelle Genebra

MLP - Museo de La Plata

MNHM - Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Montevideo

MNHN - Muséum Nacional d'Historie Naturelle, Paris

MNRJ - Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro

MORG - Museu Oceanográfico de Rio Grande

MZSP - Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo

UFRS - Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

UMZC - University Museum of Zoology Cambridge

USNM - United States National Museum, Washington

ZMB - Zoologisches Museum Berlin

ZMUC - Zoological Museum University of Copenhagen

ZMUH - Zoologisches Museum des Universitaet Hamburg


3. Results

Key to the subgenera and species of Adelomelon:

1. Shell fusiform with brown zigzag markings; apex acute; protoconch with calcarella* (Adelomelon s.s.) ......................................................................................... 2
- Shell globose without brown zigzag markings; apex globose or mammilliform; protoconch without calcarella Pachycymbiola) ................................................... 4

2. Shell with knobs or short spines on periphery ........................................ A. beckii
- Shell without knobs or spines on periphery ...................................................... 3

3. Whorls very convex; fine spiral lines present; one columellar fold ................ A. riosi
- Whorls convex; spiral lines absent; more than one columellar fold ............. A. ancilla

4. Interior salmon-colored; one line of knobs on the shoulder usually present; columella thin; protoconch globose ................................................................ A. brasiliana
- Interior dark brown; knobs absent; columella strong; protoconch mammillated .........
..................................................................................................A. ferussacii

*a spur or pointed projection of the early whorl of the protoconch.

Genus Adelomelon Dall, 1906

Adelomelon Dall, 1906: 143. Type-species, Voluta ancilla Lightfoot, 1786, by original designation

Janeithoe Pilsbry and Olsson, 1954: 25. Type-species, Voluta beckii Broderip, 1847 (sic)

Diagnosis: Shell globose to fusiform, medium to large, generally with elongated spire. Aperture large, semi-circular. Columella with one to five oblique folds. Surface smooth or with knobs at the whorl shoulder. Radula with a single row of flat tricuspid teeth.

Subgenus Adelomelon s.s.

Weaveria Clench and Turner, 1964:162. Type-species, Adelomelon riosi Clench and Turner, 1964, Syn. Nov.

Diagnosis: shell fusiform with brown zigzag markings, pointed apex and protoconch with a calcarella.

Remarks: It is important to keep in mind, when analyzing the calcarella, that it is a fragile protoconch structure and may be eroded in many adult specimens, even in ones taken live.

The subgenus Weaveria as described by Clench and Turner (1964) is monotypic, including only A. riosi. The subgenus is characterized by very thick deciduous periostracum, absence of zigzag color marking on the shell, and very globose whorls. Examination of several voucher specimens showed that zigzag markings are very common on freshly collected specimens. A thick deciduous periostracum is also found in A. ancilla and A. beckii. The single remaining distinctive character of very convex whorls is inadequate to support a subgeneric taxon, and therefore the subgenus is here proposed to be synonymized with Adelomelon s.s

Adelomelon ancilla (Lightfoot, 1786)

Voluta ancilla Lightfoot, 1786: 84. Type-locality: Straits of Magellan, by original designation (Makes references to Davila and Romé de L'Isle, 1767, Vol. 1. pl. 8 Fig. S.).

Voluta spectabilis Gmelin, 1791: 3468. Type-locality: in freto magellanico. Type figure based on Davila and Romé de L'Isle, 1767, Vol. 1. pl. 8 Fig. S.

Voluta magellanica Chemnitz, 1795: 139. (nomen nudum; work rejected by ICZN Opinion 184, 1944).

Voluta magellanica Lamarck, 1811: 69 (non Gmelin, 1791). Type locality: Détroit de Magellan. Syntype, MHNG 1103/31 and ZMUC.

Voluta bracata Mabille and Rochebrune, 1889: 48 49. (in Rochebrune and Mabille, 1889). Type locality: Baie Orange - Argentine. Two syntypes, MNHN.

Voluta martensi Strebel, 1906: 124. Type-locality: "Etwas südlich von Rio de La Plata Mündung". Syntypes, ZMB 18483 and 108666 (two syntypes on the Hamburg Museum were destroyed during the II world war).

"Voluta bracteata Mabille and Rochebrune" Strebel, 1906: 92. (spelling error).

"Adelomelon ancylla Solander" Barattini and Ureta, 1960: 124. (spelling error).

Adelomelon barattinii Klappenbach and Ureta, 1966: 2. Type locality: "Desembocadura del río de la Plata, 15 millas al sur de la isla de Lobos". Holotype, MNHM 1314; Paratype, MNHM 15134. Syn. Nov.

Remarks: Lightfoot (1786) made reference to two specimens in the Duchess of Portland Collection (which was later auctioned), and to Davila and Romé de L'Isle (1767). None of these specimens, considered syntypes under ICZN (1999) article 73.2.1, could be located, and were presumed lost by Clench and Turner (1964). According to Weaver and duPont (1970), Voluta ancilla Lightfoot, 1786 and Voluta spectabilis Gmelin, 1791 are based on the same type material [illustrated by Davila and Romé de L'Isle (1767)] and therefore must be considered objective synonyms.

According to Clench and Turner (1964), the long-lasting confusion regarding A. ancilla and O. magellanica began when Lamarck (1811) described his V. magellanica (= ancilla Solander), non Gmelin, 1791, making Chemnitz' name available with a direct bibliographic reference. Many subsequent authors perpetuated Lamarck's misidentification, until Clench and Turner (1964) described the radular morphology and properly distinguished both taxa. At our request, Dr. Yves Finet located Lamarck's type material housed at MNHG 1103/31 (Figure 1), and Dr. Ole Tendal located Chemnitz' syntype in the Spengler Collection, housed at ZMUC. The similarity between specimen MNHG 1103/31 and the illustration by Küster (1845) on Plate 31, Figure 6 (reproduced in Figure 2) is note worthy but we could not determine whether Lamarck´s specimen was actually illustrated by Küster (1845).

Lahille (1895) remarked that the characters given by Rochebrune and Mabille (1889) to describe V. bracata could not distinguish it from A. ancilla. At our request, Dr Jacques Le Renard (in 2004) located the two syntypes mentioned by Rochebrune and Mabille (1889) housed at MNHN.

Weaver and duPont (1970) indicated that the individuals described as Voluta martensi Strebel, 1906 are only specimens of A. ancilla that show longitudinal ribbing on the early whorls. This observation was confirmed by our observation of syntypes from ZMB 18483 and 108666 (Figures 3-5). Two syntypes, stated by Strebel (1906) to be housed in ZMUH, were destroyed by bombing during World War II, according to Dr. Bernhard Hausdorf (in 2004, pers. comm.).

Adelomelon barattinii Klappenbach and Ureta, 1960 is very rare, and only empty shells have been reported (Carranza, 2005). Rios (1994) stated that A. barattinii is only a gerontic form of A. ancilla. Our examination of the holotype and paratype of A. barattinii, some specimens from the private collection of Mr. Juan Carlos Zaffaroni (Uruguayan Malacological Society) and the report of Carranza (2005) confirmed that A. barattinii is only an extreme variation of A. ancilla. We observed a great deal of variation in the size of nodules on several specimens, which otherwise could be taken as A. ancilla. We therefore consider A. barattinii very similar to A. ancilla form martensi, in which nodules present on the early whorls of the spire continue to the body whorl.

Klappenbach and Ureta (1966) stated that the paratype of A. barattinii was housed in the private collection of Dr. Ureta. After his passing, the paratype was donated to the MNHM collection and assigned to lot MNHM 15134.

Rivers described Scaphella arnheimi in 1891, in an article in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. In the following year, the article was reprinted in The Nautilus. Neither of these articles provided an illustration of the specimen, or named a depository institution. Rivers (1891) reported one specimen trawled in Monterey Bay, a location noted to be in error by Clench and Turner (1964) and Weaver and duPont (1970), without further discussion. Although the correct classification of this taxon will only be possible after a proper examination of the type material, attempts to locate this material were unsuccessful. Shell description and type locality would lead us to compare S. arnheimi with the genus Arctomelon Dall, 1915, and until the material can be located, we propose this taxon to be considered incertae sedis and removed from the synonymy of A. ancilla as given by Clench and Turner (1964) and Weaver and duPont (1970).

Weaver and duPont (1970) considered Adelomelon paradoxa (Lahille, 1895) a valid species, but remarked that some specimens illustrated by Lahille (1895) belong to Odontocymbiola magellanica (Gmelin, 1791). Poppe and Goto (1992), on the other hand, indicated Voluta paradoxa Lahille, 1895 in the synonymy list of A. ancilla. Our examination of the syntypes illustrated by Lahille (1895) and deposited in MLP, indicated that all specimens are actually O. magellanica, and therefore the taxon should be removed from the synonymy of A. ancilla and considered a synonym of O. magellanica. Weaver and duPont (1970) referred to the holotype of Voluta paradoxa Lahille, 1895 as having been deposited at BMNH, as lot 1901.8.1.35. This indication is in error, as this lot number refers to the holotype of Cymbiola mangeri Preston, 1901 (Dr. Kathie Way, pers. comm., 2004), which is a synonym of V. paradoxa Lahille, 1895. The V. paradoxa type series (nine syntypes) is deposited at MLP.

Adelomelon beckii (Broderip, 1836)

Voluta beckii Broderip, 1836: 43. Type-locality: Seven Miles off Ilha Rasa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (by designation of Weaver and duPont, 1970). Lectotype, UMZC I.100,045 (ex Saul collection, selected by Clench and Turner, 1964; figured by Bishop and May, 1976 ); Paralectotype, BMNH 1837.12.1.74 (Figure 7).

Voluta fusiformis Kiener, 1839: 41. (non Brocchi, 1814; non Turton, 1819; non Swainson, 1822; non Defrance, 1829). Type-locality:"Habite l'Océan Méridional, les côtes Magellanique.

Voluta festiva d'Orbigny, 1841: 426. (non Lamarck, 1811). Type-locality: habiter toute la côte de Patagonie, depuis le 39º degré de latitude sud (misidentitication by Orbigny).

Adelomelon indigestus Ihering, 1908: 433-434. Type-locality: São Sebastião, São Paulo; Guaratiba, Rio de Janeiro (both southwest Brazil, by designation of Wiggers and Veitenheimer-Mendes, 2005). Syntypes, MNRJ 950, MZSP 5686.

Remarks: Kiener (1839) described Voluta fusiformis based on material from the Masséna Collection and from the Paris Museum. The Masséna Collection was later incorporated into the Delessert Collection, which is now housed at the Geneva Museum (MHNG). Dr. Yves Finet (in 2004, pers. comm.) could not locate the specimen illustrated by Kiener (1839).

Kiener (1839) also referred to material brought to Paris by d'Orbigny when returning from his voyage to southern South America, which was later incorporated into the British Museum Collection (BMNH) and listed by Gray (1854). However, when listing the specimens brought from this voyage, d'Orbigny (1841) did not mention Voluta fusiformis, but instead Voluta festiva Lamarck, 1811 and Gray (1854) remarked on this specimen as being a young V. beckii. Strebel (1906) remarked that d'Orbigny´s collection arrived in Paris in 1847 and at that time, d'Orbigny most probably identified his material as V. festiva based on Lamarck´s writings, which had no illustrations. The d'Orbigny specimen is now housed at BMNH (lot 1854.12.4.427), and should be regarded as a syntype of Voluta fusiformis Kiener, 1839, by its reference in the original description.

Concerning V. festiva sensu d'Orbigny (Figure 7), it has long been known that his identification was in error. Therefore, Voluta festiva Lamarck, 1811 is restricted to West Africa, as thoroughly discussed by Lahille (1895) and Strebel (1906).

Adelomelon indigestus Ihering, 1908 was described based on two specimens collected in southeast Brazil. The taxonomic status and type locality were discussed by Wiggers and Veitenheimer-Mendes (2005).

Adelomelon riosi Clench and Turner, 1964

Adelomelon riosi Clench and Turner, 1964: 162. Type-locality: 130 miles east of Mar del Plata,

Argentina, 99 fathoms (by original designation). Holotype, MCZ 245017; Paratypes, USNM 652353, MORG 8.221, Clifton Weaver Collection.

Remarks: Adelomelon riosi (Figure 8) commonly has, besides the fine spiral lines, flat, axially elongated nodules restricted to early whorls, similar to those of A. ancilla form martensi. We believe that this characteristic has no taxonomic importance.

Subgenus Pachycymbiola Ihering, 1907

Pachycymbiola Ihering, 1907: 209. Type-species: Voluta brasiliana Lamarck, 1811, by original designation.

Diagnosis: Shell globose without brown zigzag markings, spire low, apex globose to mammillated, and protoconch without a calcarella.

Remarks: Ihering (1907) proposed the subgenus Pachycymbiola to accommodate two recent species (A. brasiliana and A. ferussacii) and one fossil species (A. ameghinoi). According to Ihering (1907), Pachycymbiola is characterized by heavy and globose shells, a low spire, and uniform color.

Adelomelon brasiliana (Lamarck, 1811)

"La Coloquinte" Favanne, 1772: 139. (nomen nudum; prelinnean work)

Voluta brasiliana Lightfoot, 1786: 186. (nomem nudum; fide Clench and Turner, 1964)

Voluta Colocynthis Brasiliana Solandri Chemnitz, 1795: 10. (nomem nudum; work rejected by ICZN, Opinion 184 (1944); not binomial.)

Voluta brasiliana Lamarck, 1811: 62 (based on Chemnitz, 1795, pl. 176 figs. 1695-1696). Type-locality: "Habité l'Ocean du Brésil". Lectotype, ZMUC (here designated, as figured by Chemnitz, 1795); Paralectotypes: ZMUC (referred to by Chemnitz, 1795; lost), MNHN (lost).

"Voluta cocynthis Chemnitz" Lamarck, 1811: 62. (spelling error).

Voluta colocynthis Dillwyn, 1817: 574 (Inhabits the coasts of Brazil; Validation of Chemnitz's V. colocynthis)

Remarks: The type location restricted by Weaver and duPont (1970) as "the estuary of the Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil" does not refer to any specific location and is doubtful. The indication of Weaver and duPont (1970) probably refers to the estuary of the Patos Lagoon, Rio Grande city, Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil, because it is the major estuary of the region. Still this is a doubtful assumption. Moreover, A. brasiliana is not an estuarine species, and restriction of the type-locality to an estuary may lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the animal's habitat. Therefore, we find no reason for such type locality restriction.

The "Holotype" [sic] of A. brasiliana, which was stated by Kiener to be in the Paris Museum, could not be located by Dr. D. F. McMichael in 1961 (fide Clench and Turner, 1964), nor by Dr. Le Renard in 2004 (pers. comm.), and is therefore presumed lost. The two specimens described by Chemnitz (1795) and referred to in Lamarck's description must, under ICZN (1999) article 73.1.4, be considered part of the type series.

The specimen illustrated by Chemnitz (1795) is part of the Spengler Collection, and Dr. Ole Tendal (pers. comm.) located it in 2004, housed in the ZMUC Collection (Figure 9). This specimen, being the sole traceable specimen in the type series, is here designated as a lectotype, to assure correct usage of the taxon name. The specimen mentioned but not illustrated by Chemnitz (1795) could not be located; still, it must be considered a paralectotype, as well as Lamarck's Paris Museum specimen.

Although not a usual case, the specimens cited by Chemnitz (1795) and considered the lectotype and paralectotype of V. brasiliana Lamarck, 1811, should be name-bearing syntypes of Voluta colocynthis because Dillwyn (1817) made the taxon name available, with a direct reference to Chemnitz (1795) (ICZN, 1999; articles 11.5 and 72.6). Therefore, V. brasiliana and V. colocynthis are objective synonyms.

Adelomelon ferussacii (Donovan, 1824)

Voluta ferussacii Donovan, 1824: 67. Type-locality: Straits of Magellan (restricted by Weaver and duPont, 1970). Type, lost (according to Clench and Turner, 1964).

Voluta rudis Griffith and Pidgeon, 1834: 601. Type- locality: not stated. Holotype, BMNH 19920177.

Voluta oviformis Lahille, 1895: 312. Type-locality: Coast of Santa Cruz, Argentine. Nineteen syntypes, MLP.

Remarks: Donovan (1824) described V. ferussacii (Figure 10) with two spellings in the same text. In the title, he spelled the species name "Voluta ferussacii", and further on in the species description he spelled it "Voluta ferrusacii". Given the principle of priority and the dedication of the species to the Baron of Ferussac, the correct spelling should be the first presented, i.e., Voluta ferussacii Donovan, 1824.

Weaver and duPont (1970) stated that the holotype of A. ferussacii is housed in the BMNH under No.19920177 (Figure 11), but the indication is in error because this lot number refers to the holotype of V. rudis Griffith and Pidgeon, 1834 (Dr. Kathie Way, pers. comm., 2004). The holotype of A. ferussacii could not be located and is probably lost.

Lahille (1895) illustrated several specimens of V. oviformis (some are illustrated more then once in different plates). Among the material figured, 19 are here recognized as syntypes (Table 1). Three specimens were expressly stated to be variants, and therefore should not be considered syntypes under ICZN (1999) article 72.4.1. All specimens are housed in the MLP.



Acknowledgements — We thank Dr Alejandro Tablado (MACN), Dr Amelia MacLellan and Dr Kathie Way (BMNH), Dr Carlo Magenta and Dr Luiz R. Simone (MZSP), Dr Cristian Ituarte (MLP/MACN), Dr Bernhard Hausdorf (ZMUH), Mr. Fabrizio Scarabino (MNHM), Dr Frank Koehler (ZMB), Dr Harriet Wood (MHNG), Dr José H. Leal (Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum), Dr Karin Sindemark (Swedish Museum of Natural History), Dr Jacques le Renard (MNHN), Dr Norma Salgado (MNRJ), Dr Richard Preece (UMZC), Dr Ole Tendal (ZMUC), Dr Yves Finet (MHNG), and Dr Robert van Syoc (California Academy of Sciences) for their invaluable assistance in tracing type-material, and for providing essential bibliographic material. We also thank Mr. Andres Rustam, Dr Harry G. Lee, Dr Richard Petit, and Dr Sophie Valtat for providing rare bibliographic material, Mr Juan Carlos Zaffaroni for granting access to his private collection, and Mr José Carlos Tarasconi and Mrs Cristina Ayçaguer for their valuable comments on the manuscript.



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Received November 23, 2006
Accepted June 15, 2007
Distributed November 30, 2008



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