Conilithes sceptophorus ( Boettger, 1887 ),

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard, 2016, A revision of the Neogene Conidae and Conorbidae (Gastropoda) of the Paratethys Sea, Zootaxa 4210 (1), pp. 1-178: 53-54

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Conilithes sceptophorus ( Boettger, 1887 )


Conilithes sceptophorus ( Boettger, 1887) 

Figs 5View FIGURE 5 I1–I3

Conus (Chelyconus) sceptophorus  n. sp. — Boettger 1887: 7, pl. 2, figs 6–8. Conus (Chelyconus) sceptophorus Bttgr.  — Boettger 1906: 2.

Type material. Syntype, inventory number SMF XII.2245 a coll. O. Boettger ex M. v. Kimakowicz 1883, Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt ( Germany)  ; Lăpugiu de Sus ( Romania); middle Miocene, Badenian (Langhian). 

Studied material. Syntype

Illustrated material. Figs 5View FIGURE 5 I1–I3: Syntype, SL: 13.5 mm, MD: 6.6 mm, Lăpugiu de Sus ( Romania); picture taken by Sigrid Hof, provided by Ronald Janssen, section Malacology, Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut Frankfurt / Main. 

Revised description. Small biconical shell with moderately high scalariform spire. Early spire whorls probably tuberculate; later spire whorls smooth, carinate, weakly concave. Subsutural flexure deep, nearly symmetrical. Last whorl with angulated shoulder; position of maximum diameter slightly below shoulder; faintly ventricose, weakly constricted at base. Siphonal canal short, rather narrow. Few deeply incised spiral grooves on base. Colour pattern consisting of axially arranged zig-zag stripes (according to Boettger 1887; the illustrated syntype shows only vague traces of this pattern).

Shell measurements and ratios. Syntype: SL: 13.5 mm, MD: 6.6 mm, spire angle: µ = 68°, last whorl angle: 44°, LW: 2.05, RD: 0.70, PMD: 0.89, RSH: 0.30.

Discussion. Boettger (1906) emphasised that Conilithes brezinae ( Hoernes & Auinger, 1879)  did not occur at Coşteiu de Sus and united all “ brezinae  -like” specimens from that locality in his Conus sceptophorus  . In the collections of the Natural History Museum Vienna, however, numerous specimens from Coşteiu de Sus undoubtedly represent C. brezinae  . In contrast, not a single of these specimens agrees with the syntypes of Conilithes sceptophorus  in the stout biconical outline and the zig-zag colour pattern. Whilst one might argue that Boettger’s syntypes are just stout specimens of C. brezinae  , the zig-zag colour pattern supports a separation because C. brezinae  develops thin spiral lines. For the same reason we reject a synonymization with the Pliocene Italian Conilithes canaliculatus ( Brocchi, 1814)  , as proposed by Kovács & Balász (2016), because this species has densely spaced spirals (see Panganelli 2014).

Paleoenvironment. Unknown.

Distribution in Paratethys. Transylvanian Basin: Lăpugiu de Sus ( Romania), Coşteiu de Sus ( Romania) ( Boettger 1887, 1906).


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg














Conilithes sceptophorus ( Boettger, 1887 )

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard 2016

Conus (Chelyconus) sceptophorus

Boettger 1906: 2
Boettger 1887: 7