Lautoconus quaggaoides,

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard, 2016, A revision of the Neogene Conidae and Conorbidae (Gastropoda) of the Paratethys Sea, Zootaxa 4210 (1), pp. 1-178: 88-90

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Lautoconus quaggaoides


Lautoconus quaggaoides  nov. sp.

Figs 17 D, 20E1–E3, 20F1–F3, 20G1–G2, 20H1–H3, 20E 1–I 3, 20J

Chelyconus rotundus ( Hoernes et Auinger, 1879)  — Kovács & Vicián 2013: 61 (partim), fig. 16 [non Lautoconus rotundus ( Hoernes et Auinger, 1879)  ].

Holotype: Figs 20View FIGURE 20 E1–E3, 17D: SL: 21.5 mm, MD: 12.9 mm, NHMW 2016/0009/0001. Paratype: Figs 20View FIGURE 20 F1–F3: SL: 22.5 mm, MD: 13.2 mm, NHMW 2016/0009/0002. Paratype: Figs 20View FIGURE 20 G1–G2: SL: 24.1 mm, MD: 14.1 mm, NHMW 2016/0009/0003. Paratype: Figs 20View FIGURE 20 I1–I3: SL: 24.3 mm, MD: 15.5 mm, NHMW 2016/0009/0004a. Paratype: Fig. 20View FIGURE 20 J: SL: 23.0 mm, MD: 13.4 mm, NHMW 2016/0009/0004b.

Additional material: 5 specimens, NHMW 2016/0009/0004, 2 spec. private collection Anton Breitenberger, Figs 20View FIGURE 20 H1–H3: SL: 31.5 mm, MD: 19.4 mm.

Type stratum: fossil-rich marly sand with coral blocks and andesite boulders of the Sámsonháza Formation ( Császár 1997).

Type locality: Letkés at the western part of the Börzsöny Mts. ( Hungary); see Kovács & Vicián (2013) for a map and description. 

Age: Middle Miocene, early Badenian (= Langhian).

Etymology: Referring to the zebra-like colour pattern of subadult specimens.

Description. Small shells; early spire whorls pointed; later spire whorls nearly flat with moderately incised suture, forming low conical to slightly gradate spire; spire whorls narrowly coiled, last spire whorl relatively broader and faintly striate (only visible in grazing light). Subsutural flexure of medium depth, moderately curved, moderately asymmetrical. Narrowly rounded to weakly subangulate shoulder; position of maximum diameter slightly below shoulder. Last whorl stout and conical to weakly ventricose with faint constriction on base; weak spiral cords on lower third of last whorl. Aperture narrow, angulated at shoulder, nearly straight, only weakly widening towards short and straight siphonal canal; siphonal fasciole nearly absent. Colour pattern very intense under UV light, consisting of frequently interrupted broader fluorescing and narrower dark spirals crossed by broad axial bands, which may be nearly straight to strongly zig-zag shaped within the same specimen. This pattern is dominant in subadult specimens. Axial elements become subordinate in adult shells, which display mainly broad, spirally arranged light and dark dashes. Spire whorls with flammulae.

Shell measurements and ratios. n = 12: largest specimen: SL: 31.5 mm, MD: 19.4 mm, mean SL: 24.2 mm (σ = 3.7), mean MD: 14.6 mm (σ = 2.4), spire angle: µ = 122.8° (σ = 5.6°), last whorl angle: µ = 41.0° (σ = 1.5°), LW: µ = 1.66 (σ = 0.05), RD: µ = 0.69 (σ = 0.02), PMD: µ = 0.84 (σ = 0.01), RSH: µ = 0.12 (σ = 0.03).

Discussion. This shell probably belongs to the same group as the West African genus Africonus Petuch, 1975  as defined by Tucker & Tenorio (2009). These are all small shelled species, with a short siphonal canal, shallow anal notch, weak siphonal fasciole and rather narrow aperture. Moreover, zig-zag colour patterns are frequently developed within Africonus  (e.g. A. decoratus Röckel, Rolán & Monteiro, 1980  , A. verdensis ( Trovão, 1979)  , A. derrubado Rolán & Fernandes in Rolán, 1990  ). According to Tucker & Tenorio (2009), Africonus  (type species: Conus cuneolus Reeve, 1843  , by original designation, present day, West Africa) is characterised by having a paucispiral protoconch, the whorl tops may be concave when viewed in cross section, with cords on the whorl tops that may be lost in middle spire whorls or persist thereafter. The shell has a shallow to moderately deep subsutural flexure. The molecular phylogeny presented by Puillandre et al. (2014a, b) does not support the separation of Africonus  and Lautoconus Monterosato, 1923  . Shells of the genus Lautoconus  are characterised by their turgid shape with convex sides. Like Africonus  , the protoconch is paucispiral. The whorl tops are ornamented with cords that reach the middle spire whorls and often persist and the subsutural flexure is shallow to moderate in depth ( Tucker & Tenorio 2009). On shell characters, alone we cannot convincingly distinguish the two genera and therefore follow Puillandre et al. (2014a) in considering Africonus  a junior synonym of Lautoconus  .

Aside from its very narrow aperture, this cone snail has few shell features catching the eye at first sight. Therefore, it might have been overlooked so far. Its spectacular colouring under UV light, however, distinguishes it distinctly from all other Paratethyan species and allows an easy identification.

Paleoenvironment. The locality Letkés comprises a mixed assemblage of partly reworked taxa ( Kovács & Vicián 2013); the frequent occurrence of corals suggests a shallow marine depositional environment.

Distribution in Paratethys. Badenian (middle Miocene): Pannonian Basin: Letkés ( Hungary).






Lautoconus quaggaoides

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard 2016

Chelyconus rotundus (

Kovacs 2013: 61