Conasprella minutissima,

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard, 2016, A revision of the Neogene Conidae and Conorbidae (Gastropoda) of the Paratethys Sea, Zootaxa 4210 (1), pp. 1-178: 42-43

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Conasprella minutissima


Conasprella minutissima  nov. sp.

Figs 3 E, 4G1–G3, 4H1–H3, 4I 1–I5

Holotype: Figs 4View FIGURE 4 I1–I5: SL: 13.1, MD: 6.3 mm, NHMW 1869View Materials /0001/0331a, Steinebrunn ( Austria). 

Paratype: Figs 4View FIGURE 4 H1–H3: SL: 10.6, MD: 5.1 mm, NHMW 1869View Materials /0001/0331b, Steinebrunn ( Austria). 

Paratype: Figs 3 E, 4G1–G3: SL: 10.4, MD: 4.7 mm, NHMW 1869View Materials /0001/0331c, Steinebrunn ( Austria). 

Additional material: 2 spec. NHMW 1869/0001/0331d, 1 spec. NHMW 1858View Materials /0029/0017, Steinebrunn ( Austria)  ; 1 spec. NHMW 1870View Materials /0054/0044, Niederleis ( Austria)  ; 1 spec. NHMW 1869View Materials /0001/0627, Marz ( Austria)  .

Type stratum: Bioclastic sand and marl of the Baden Group.

Type locality: Steinebrunn ( Austria). 

Age: Middle Miocene, middle Badenian (= late Langhian).

Etymology. Referring to the small size.

Description. Very small, slender biconical shells. High, scalariform spire of at least 7 teleoconch whorls. Spire whorls carinate just above suture, weakly tuberculate; sutural ramp distinctly striate. Impressed, somewhat irregular suture. Last whorl with flat to faintly concave sutural ramp, weakly striate. Subsutural flexure shallow, strongly curved, moderately asymmetrical. Last whorl elongate conical to weakly ventricose below angulated shoulder; slightly constricted at base. Aperture with subparallel margins; short wide siphonal canal. Siphonal fasciole obsolete. Sculpture consisting of about 15–20 spiral cords with spirally elongate beads. Spiral sculpture overlays much weaker growth lines forming a faintly cancellate pattern. Spirals become crowded on base where beads are only weakly developed. Colour pattern in UV light consisting of a few large, widely-spaced subquadratic blotches on sutural ramp of last whorl and weaker blotches on spire whorls; beads on last whorl appear as dots on thin spirals.

Shell measurements and ratios. n = 5: largest specimen: SL: 13.1 mm, MD: 6.3 mm, mean SL: 10.4 (σ = 0.8), mean MD: 5.1 (σ = 0.7), spire angle: µ = 63.2° (σ = 8.5°), last whorl angle: µ = 32.4° (σ = 2.4°), LW: µ = 2.04 (σ = 0.13), RD: µ = 0.68 (σ = 0.03), PMD: µ = 0.81 (σ = 0.09), RSH: µ = 0.28 (σ = 0.04).

Discussion. This tiny species was mixed with Artemidiconus stachei  in the NHMW collections, probably due to its small size and beaded sculpture. The scalariform spire and the lack of spiral cords on the spire whorls, however, allow a clear separation. Conasprella berwerthi ( Hoernes & Auinger, 1879)  develops a similar but coarser sculpture on the last whorl. Moreover, it differs in its lower spire, the much broader last whorl and it lacks subquadratic blotches on the sutural ramp. Phasmoconus ottiliae ( Hoernes & Auinger, 1879)  lacks the scalariform spire outline, has an elongate last whorl, a denser spiral sculpture, lacks the prominent beads and differs in its colour pattern of dense spirals.

Paleoenvironment. The occurrence at Steinebrunn suggests seagrass meadows in shallow marine nearshore settings as habitat.

Distribution in Paratethys. Badenian (middle Miocene): Vienna Basin: Niederleis ( Austria), Steinebrunn ( Austria); Eisenstadt Sopron Basin: Marz, Forchtenau ( Austria).


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien