Buccinum fossile Gmelin, 1791

Neubauer, Thomas A., 2016, A nomenclator of extant and fossil taxa of the Melanopsidae (Gastropoda, Cerithioidea), ZooKeys 602, pp. 1-358: 123

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Buccinum fossile Gmelin, 1791


Taxon classification Animalia Sorbeoconcha Melanopsidae

Buccinum fossile Gmelin, 1791 

Original source.

Gmelin 1971: 3485.

Type horizon.

Sarmatian (sensu stricto), middle Miocene.

Type locality.

"Zwischen Oedinburg and Ruß” ( Martini 1777: 204) [between Sopron (Hungary) and Rust (Austria)], Hungary/Austria.


Papp (1953b: 133) designated the specimen illustrated by Martini (1777: pl. 94, figs 913) as lectotype (see also Art. 74.5). Since Gmelin explicitly referred to Martini’s work when describing the species, this designation is valid.


The taxon in question was first mentioned in the Catalogus by Walch (1768: 121, pl. C. II.*, figs 1-5), yet without name. Martini (1777: 203, pl. 94, figs 912-914) described and illustrated the species as " Pyrum fossile monstrosum f. amorphon  " and referred to Walch’s work. Species-group names introduced in volumes 1-11 of Martini and Chemnitz’ Neues Systematischer Conchylien Cabinet (1769-1795) are, however, unavailable according to Opinion 184 (ICZN 1944). Gmelin (1791: 3485) referred to Martini’s work, described the species and was the first to assign an available name to the taxon: Buccinum fossile  .

Férussac (1823), who was the first to combine the species with Melanopsis  , listed the records by Walch, Martini and Gmelin but apparently did not consider " fossile  " a valid name and introduced " Melanopsis martiniana  " as new name. That name is permanently invalid as it is an objective synonym (see also Pallary 1916: 81).

The last summary of the status of Melanopsis fossilis  was provided by Fischer (1996a), but his conclusions were unfortunately based on misinterpretations and nomenclatural errors. He was unaware of the fact that " Melanopsis martiniana  " is an objective synonym of Melanopsis fossilis  . Moreover, he considered the outcrops near Siegendorf as "locus typicus restrictus", a term not existing in nomenclature.