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Phasmoconus (Fulgiconus) santinii

19/12/2014

Phasmoconus (Fulgiconus) santinii (Gastropoda: Conidae), a new surprising species from the Fiji Archipelago.

 

 

Eric Monnier: Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM)  292, rue Saint-Martin, 75003  Paris (France)

eric.monnier@cnam.fr

 

Loïc Limpalaër: 11, rue de la Poste, 60510 Haudivillers (France)

 

 

Key Words: Taxonomy, new species, Conidae, Phasmoconus, Fulgiconus, santinii, proximus, cebuensis, goudeyi, Fiji.

 

 

Abstract: Phasmoconus (Fulgiconus) santinii a new species belonging to the genus Phasmoconus (Gastropoda, Conidae) is named. This species lives in Fiji Archipelago.

The new species is compared with several species: Phasmoconus (Fulgiconus) proximus (Sowerby II, 1859), P. (F.) cebuensis (Wils, 1990), P. (F.) alexandrei Limpalaër & Monnier, 2012 and P. (F.) goudeyi Monnier & Limpalaër, 2012.

 

 

 

Phasmoconus (Fulgiconus) santinii  n.sp.

 

Type materials

 

Studied specimens  

(measurements: L, MD, HMD, AH are given in millimeters; RD, PMD, RSH are without dimension).

 

 

 

 

 

Length

 

 

 

L

 

 

Maximum Diameter

 

 

MD

 

Heigth of Maximum Diameter

 

HMD

 

Aperture

Height

 

 

AH

 

Relative Diameter

of last whorl

 

RD = MD / AH

 

Position of Maximum Diameter of last whorl

PMD = HMD / AH

 

Relative Spire Height

 

 

RSH = (L-AH) /L

 

Deposition

 

1

 

28.61

 

13.94

 

21.88

 

23.47

 

0.594

 

0.932

 

0.180

Holotype

MNHN

26459

 

2

 

28.82

 

 

13.08

 

21.91

 

23.90

 

0.547

 

0.917

 

0.171

Paratype 1 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

3

 

27.17

 

12.54

 

21.35

 

23.06

 

0.544

 

0.926

 

0.151

Paratype 2 coll.

E.Monnier

 

4

 

27.73

 

13.05

 

21.04

 

23.82

 

0.548

 

0.883

 

0.141

Paratype 3 coll.

L.Limpalaër N° 7652

 

5

 

28.19

 

13.29

 

22.26

 

24.04

 

0.553

 

0.926

 

0.147

Paratype 4 coll.

O. Santini

 

6

 

26.15

 

13.05

 

20.43

 

22.64

 

0.576

 

0.902

 

0.134

Paratype 5 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

7

 

24.23

 

11.50

 

18.39

 

20.16

 

0.570

 

0.912

 

0.168

Paratype 6 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

8

 

27.18

 

12.33

 

20.21

 

21.74

 

0.567

 

0.930

 

0.200

Paratype 7 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

 

9

 

 

25.62

 

12.10

 

20.08

 

21.62

 

0.560

 

0.929

 

0.156

Paratype 8 coll. E.Monnier

 

10

 

26.47

 

12.44

 

20.72

 

22.02

 

0.565

 

0.941

 

0.168

Paratype 9 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

11

 

28.57

 

12.80

 

22.09

 

23.69

 

0.540

 

0.933

 

0.171

Paratype 10 coll. E.Monnier

 

12

 

25.75

 

13.14

 

21.09

 

22.75

 

0.578

 

0.927

 

0.117

Paratype 11 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

13

 

25.63

 

12.50

 

19.40

 

21.56

 

0.580

 

0.900

 

0.159

Paratype 12 coll. E.Monnier

 

14

 

25.64

 

11.95

 

20.31

 

21.41

 

0.558

 

0.949

 

0.165

Paratype 13 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

15

 

27.07

 

12.67

 

20.65

 

22.57

 

0.561

 

0.915

 

0.166

Paratype 14 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

16

 

 

26.31

 

12.36

 

20.07

 

21.86

 

0.565

 

0.918

 

0.169

Paratype 15 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

17

 

26.59

 

12.25

 

21.02

 

22.92

 

0.534

 

0.917

 

0.138

Paratype 16 coll. E.Monnier

 

18

 

26.75

 

12.50

 

21.69

 

23.11

 

0.541

 

0.939

 

0.136

Paratype 17 coll.

O. Santini

 

19

 

26.14

 

12.57

 

20.69

 

22.16

 

0.567

 

0.934

 

0.152

Paratype 18 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

20

 

23.89

 

10.75

 

18.05

 

19.57

 

0.549

 

0.922

 

0.181

Paratype 19 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

21

 

26.52

 

12.92

 

20.32

 

22.16

 

0.583

 

0.917

 

0.164

Paratype 20 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

22

 

 

24.05

 

11.66

 

18.31

 

20.08

 

0.581

 

0.912

 

0.165

Paratype 21 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

23

 

21.75

 

10.61

 

17.16

 

18.35

 

0.578

 

0.935

 

0.156

Paratype 22 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

24

 

22.14

 

10.67

 

17.14

 

18.57

 

0.575

 

0.923

 

0.161

Paratype 23 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

25

 

23.49

 

11.37

 

18.86

 

20.20

 

0.563

 

0.934

 

0.140

Paratype 24 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

26

 

23.11

 

10.83

 

18.43

 

19.73

 

0.549

 

0.934

 

0.146

Paratype 25 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

27*

 

21.07*

 

10.98*

 

16.33*

 

17.26*

 

0.636*

 

0.946*

 

0.181*

Paratype 26 coll. J.P.Barbier

 

28

 

27.3

 

12.4

 

20.6 #

 

22.6 #

 

0.55 #

 

0.92 #

 

0.16 #

Paratype 27 coll.

O. Santini

 

Averages

 

26.0

 

12.2

 

20.2

 

21.8

 

0.56

 

0.92

 

0.16

 

 

*    subadult specimen (not considered in the average measurements)

#   estimated values

Holotype

The holotype is deposited in the Paris Museum of Natural History MNHN 26459

 

Paratypes

The specimens numbered 2 to 28 are the 27 paratypes of the new species.

 

Description

 

The adult shell is conical in overall shape and small to moderately small sized (21 to 29 mm) with an average length of 26.0 mm.

 

The spire is of moderate height with an average AH / L value of 0.84. The protoconch and the first teleoconch whorls are pointed. The spire is concave in the first whorls and become progressively straighter. The average relative spire height (RSH) value is 0.16.

The position of the maximum diameter is of 92 % of the aperture length of the shell. The relative diameter of the last whorl varies from 0.53 to 0.59 (average RD = 0.56).

 

The paucispiral protoconch with about 2 to 2.5 whorls probably indicates that the new species is not planctotrophic. This protoconch is small, rounded, white and smooth. The whorls are stepped and have an undulate periphery with 9 to 13 irregular rounded knobs (mean value: 10.6) on the last whorl. They are sculptured with three to four spiral grooves on the undulate sutural ramps. The adult shell has eleven to twelve whorls. The anal notch is moderately deep and V shaped.

 

The last whorl is conical with straight to slightly convex sides. The HMD / L ratio varies from 0.74 to 0.82 on the 28 studied specimens (average: 0.78). The surface shows a porcellaneous gloss. The aperture is long, straight and does not widen anteriorly. The last whorl is sculptured with eight to ten spiral grooves that are deeper near the base and progressively become obsolete towards one third of the height of the last whorl.

 

The ground colour of the shell is ivory white. The pattern is made of brown to chocolate-brown irregular blotches with intricate pattern all around the last whorl that may connect to form axial flames. The blotches are less conspicuous at the middle of the last whorl. Moreover, the last whorl can have between 18 to 30 spiral hairlines composed of irregularly scattered very thin orange brown dashes. The dashes never contain paler spots but are separated by interspaces whiter than the ground colour. In some rare specimens the hairlines are totally absent. The spire is white to pale grey colour with irregular dark brown spots (most of the time darker than those on the last whorl) situated between some knobs. The interior of the aperture is pure white.

The periostracum was not available for study. The operculum is tan in colour, elongate oval and of a very small size.

 

Living animal

 

There is no available information on the soft parts of the animal.

 

Derivatio nominis

 

The new species is dedicated to the French cone collector and well-known shell dealer Olivier Santini. 

 

Type locality

 

Dollar Bay, Naviti Island, Yasawa Group, Fiji Archipelago.

 

Species range

 

A limited number of specimens of the new species has been collected in July 2012 at the type locality by a diver. No specimens are known to us from other localities.

 

Habitat

 

The new species was collected in 15 to 20 m. depth. No information is available on its life habits and diet.

 

Comparisons

 

The new species belongs to the “Phasmoconus proximus” complex. Within this group it must be compared with: P. proximus (Sowerby II, 1859), P. cebuensis (Wils, 1990), P. alexandrei Limpalaër & Monnier, 2012 and P. goudeyi Monnier & Limpalaër, 2012.

 

 

- P. proximus (Sowerby II, 1859) is found in Papua-New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu. It has approximately the same average size as the new species although it may reach a larger size. The sculpture of the last whorl of P. proximus is made of fine spiral raised cords – that may be beaded in some specimens – over the entire last whorl as opposed to P. santinii n.sp. that has its last whorl mostly   smooth and never beaded. The dashes arranged in spiral lines are much more conspicuous in P. proximus than in the new species: they are thicker and always present all over the whole last whorl. The general aspect of P. santinii n.sp. is whiter than that of P. proximus witch is pale cream instead. Another difference in the pattern of the two species is in the arrangement of the dark blotches: they are placed in two unconnected bands on each side of the middle of the last whorl of P. proximus whereas they form broken axial flames in the new species. The number of knobs on the shoulder is 15 to 16 (mean value: 15.4) on P. proximus compared to 9 to 13 (mean value: 10.6) on P. santinii n.sp. Those knobs are more pronounced in P. santinii n.sp.

 

- P. cebuensis (Wils, 1990) differs from P. santinii n.sp. in its larger size, its stouter shape with convex sides, and its pattern with thicker spiral dashes containing creamy spots within. The number of spiral hairlines is about 14 to 16 whereas they can number up to 30 in P. santinii n.sp. The latter species also has a smoother last whorl when compared to the former. Knobs on the shoulder of P. cebuensis number 12 to 15 (mean value: 13.4); they are rough and irregular. They are less numerous and more raised in P. santinii n.sp.

P. cebuensis lives with certainty in the Philippines and records from other localities (Vanuatu) need confirmation. It has not been recorded from the Fijian Archipelago and therefore appears to be allopatric with the new species.

 

- P.alexandrei Limpalaër & Monnier, 2012 can reach 46 mm and hence is much larger than P. santinii n.sp. Its spire is less elevated with a quite concave outline compared to the more elevated conical spire of P. santinii n.sp. The spiral lines are interrupted like in P. santinii n.sp. but much thicker and blurred. The last whorl of P. alexandrei is generally smooth. Both species have nearly the same number of knobs on the shoulder: 11 to 14 (mean value: 12) for P. alexandrei compared to 9 to 13 (mean value: 10.6) for the new species. P. alexandrei is less elongated than P. santinii n.sp. and its colour is orange to light brown and not chocolate-brown like in P. santinii n.sp..

 

 - P. goudeyi Monnier & Limpalaër, 2012 has a similar outline but a larger size (up to 45 mm) than P. santinii n.sp. Both species have similar patterns but P. goudeyi has reddish to violet brown  blotches and 16 to 17 thicker brick red spiral dashes lines. Its spire is not stepped and the number of knobs on the shoulder is around 14. The last whorl is porcellaneous as in the new species. P. goudeyi is found in New Caledonia and possibly in the Kermadec Islands in deeper waters than the other similar species.

 

Discussion

 

All specimens come from the same catch and from the type locality. The new species clearly belongs to the P. proximus complex but has some unique features that separates it from comparable species. We could not find in published literature references or representations of any specimens matching the presently described one. The only other species in this complex that can be found with certainty in the Fiji islands is P. proximus (Cernohorsky, 1964), from which the new species is separated, based on the characters indicated above. At the same time, this Fijian population is geographically separated from all the other species, which live in distant locations, thus ensuring reproductive isolation of the new species.

Although the studied sample was collected in the same place and at the same time which does not allow to draw definite conclusions, the new species appears to be the smallest in this complex. The thickness of the spiral dashes varies from hair-like in the new species and increase progressively in P. proximus, P. goudeyi, P. cebuensis, and in P. alexandrei.

 

P. santinii n.sp.

P. proximus

P. cebuensis

P. goudeyi

P. alexandrei

Maximum size

29 mm

36 mm

36 mm

45 mm

46 mm

General outline

elongated,

straight sides

elongated,

straight sides

stouter shape,

convex sides

elongated,

straight sides

 

straight sides

Spire

rather stepped,

slightly concave

slightly stepped,

rather straight

not stepped,

rather straight

not stepped,

slightly concave

not stepped,

quite concave

Shoulder knobs

(arithmetic means)

9  to 13

(10.6)

15  to  16

(15.4)

12  to  15

(13.4)

14

*

11 to 14

(12.0)

Last whorl appearance

smooth

raised cords

raised cords

smooth

shallow ribbons

Ground Colour

white

pale cream

pale cream and tan

white

white and pink or salmon

Colour of blotches & dashes of the last whorl

brown to chocolate brown

brown

orange to dark brown

reddish to violet brown

orange to reddish brown

Spiral lines thickness

very fine  hairlines

0.4 mm

0.6 mm

0.5 mm

1 mm

Spiral lines number

0 to 30

18 to 30

14 to 16

16 to 17

16 to 18

Range

Yasawa Group, Fiji

Papua - New Guinea, Solomon, Vanuatu to Fiji (Viti Levu & Mamanuca Group)

Philippines,

Vanuatu?

New Caledonia,

 Kermadec Isl.?

Philippines,

Fiji?  Vanuatu?

 

*available sample too small for calculating significant arithmetic mean.

 

We assign species belonging to the “moluccensis Küster, 1838” and “proximus Sowerby II, 1860” complexes to the subgenus Fulgiconus da Motta, 1991 within the genus Phasmoconus Mörch, 1852. However the generic assignment of those species is still debated. We base our decision on some published and unpublished molecular phylogenies that place the species “moluccensis” and “proximus” within a clade containing Conus radiatus Gmelin, 1791, type species of the genus Phasmoconus Mörch, 1852 (e.g. Kraus & al., 2011).

A radular tooth was illustrated for “Conus proximus” by Rolan & Raybaudi (1994, fig. 69) that matches those of Pionoconus Mörch, 1852 species. This figure was used by Tucker & Tenorio (2009, plate III, fig. 17). These authors placed the species within the genus Textilia Swainson, 1840 based on radular and conchological characters. In a personal communication John Tucker informed us that he obtained the following precisions from Emilio Rolan: the actual shell from which the radula was extracted belonged to P. cebuensis Wils, 1990 and only one tooth was found within the shell. Rolan and Tucker now think that it is likely that the illustrated tooth does not belong to P. cebuensis but to another Pionoconus species. Therefore Tucker (pers. comm.) considers that the placement of P. proximus in Textilia is incorrect and suggests that shell morphology indicates that it belongs to Fulgiconus da Motta, 1991  together with the species moluccensis Küster, 1838 and exiguus Lamarck, 1810.

The observed tooth of P. moluccensis and P. exiguus illustrated by Tucker & Tenorio (2009, plate VI fig. 15 and 16) is of a peculiar type that lacks serrations and differs strikingly from the known tooth of P. radiatus which is of a “short” piscivorous type. This is an argument favouring the ranking of Fulgiconus da Motta, 1991 as a full genus according to J. Tucker (pers. comm.).

  

These disagreements are challenges to taxonomists and call for further observations of radulae and studies of DNA phylogenies within these complexes that will help to elucidate their relationships.

 

 

Acknowledgements

 

The present description could not have been written without the help brought by the following persons: The diver who found these cones,

Jean Pierre Barbier for the loan of almost of the shells of the new species.

Alain Robin for photographing the specimens illustrated and reviewing the paper.

John K. Tucker & Antonio Monteiro as referees of this work for their careful reading of the manuscript and their valuable suggestions that helped to improve this paper.

 

Bibliography

 

 

-                Cernohorsky W.O., 1964. The Conidae of Fiji (Mollusca, Gastropoda). The Veliger 7 (2), 61- 94 pp.

 

-                Filmer, R.M., 2001. A Catalogue of Nomenclature and Taxonomy in the Living Conidae 1758 -1998. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden (Netherlands). 1-388 pp.

 

-                Kraus N.J. & al., 2011. Against expectation: A short sequence with high signal elucidates cone snail phylogeny. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 58 (2). Elsevier Publishing. 383-389 pp.

 

-                Limpalaër, L., & Monnier, E. 2012. Phasmoconus alexandrei  (Gastropoda : Conidae), a new species of cone from The Western pacific. Visaya. 3(5). Hackenheim (Germany). 21-27 pp.

-                 

 

-                Monnier, E., Limpalaër, L. & Lorenz, F. 2012. Phasmoconus niederhoeferi (Gastropoda, Conidae), a new species of cone from the East China Sea and notes about the Phasmoconus moluccensis (Küster, 1838) and the Phasmoconus proximus (Sowerby, 1859) complexes. Acta Conchyliorum. 11. Stuttgart (Germany) 27-35 pp.

 

-                Monnier, E. & Limpalaër, L., 2012 c. Phasmoconus goudeyi (Gastropoda, Conidae), a new species of cone from New Caledonia. Visaya. 3(5). Hackenheim (Germany). 41-46 pp.

 

-                Röckel, D., Korn, W. & Kohn, A.J., 1995. Manual of the Living Conidae - Volume 1: Indo-Pacific Region, Verlag Christa Hemmen, Grillparzerstr (Germany). 1-517 pp.

 

-                Rolan, E. & Raybaudi Massilia, G., 1994. New Investigation on the radular teeth of Conus – Part I. Argonauta 8 (1-6), Associazione Malacologica Internazionale, Acilia (Italy). 6 – 59 pp.

 

-                Tucker, J.K. & Tenorio, M.J., 2009. Systematic Classification of Recent and Fossil Conoidean Gastropods. Conchbooks, Hackenheim (Germany). 1-296 pp.

 

-                Tucker, J.K. & Tenorio, M.J., 2013. Illustrated Catalog of the Living Cone Shells. Mal de Mer Publishing, Wellington (USA), 1 - 517 pp.

 

-                 Wils J.G., 1990. Conus proximus cebuensis a new subspecies from the Philippines. Gloria   Maris 29 (2). B.V.C., Antwerpen (Belgium). 25-27 pp.

 

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