Distinct protoconchs recognised in three of the larger Mediterranean Cerithium species (Caenogastropoda: Cerithiidae)

Daniela Parrinello, Luca Galletti, Vittorio Garilli

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The gastropod genus Cerithium includes several polymorphic species which are hardlydistinguishable using a morphological approach based on teleoconch characters. Here weshow that protoconch characters can be reliably used to identify the larger Mediterraneanspecies (Cerithium alucastrum, C. repandum and C. vulgatum), and to assess their intraspecificvariability. Based on a large amount of morphological data, we show that a multispiral,strongly sculptured protoconch (traditionally associated with C. vulgatum) is found inC. alucastrum. This species originated in the Pliocene. A multispiral, weakly sculpturedprotoconch, not observed previously, is reported for C. vulgatum. A paucispiral protoconch,distinct from those observed previously for C. lividulum and C. renovatum, is reported forC. repandum and can be used for recognising its wide intraspecific variation andunderstanding its geographical distribution. Cerithium repandum, previously doubtfullyrecorded outside its type locality, extends back to the mid-Pliocene and is today ratherwidely distributed in the Mediterranean, although absent from the Aegean Sea and theAlboran Sea. We describe the larval development of C. repandum and C. vulgatum for thefirst time, confirming their respective non-planktotrophic and planktotrophic developmentpreviously inferred from protoconch morphology. Also, we report a possible case ofmorphological convergence between C. repandum and C. vulgatum occurring in harboursites, where we found a distinct (possibly Anthropocene) shell form not described previously from other Recent or fossil material
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-118
Number of pages14
JournalMolluscan Research
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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