Leporiconus Iredale, 1930,

Harzhauser, Mathias & Landau, Bernard, 2016, A revision of the Neogene Conidae and Conorbidae (Gastropoda) of the Paratethys Sea, Zootaxa 4210 (1), pp. 1-178: 97-98

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Leporiconus Iredale, 1930


Genus Leporiconus Iredale, 1930 

Type species (by original designation): Conus glans Hwass in Bruguière, 1792  . Recent, Indian Ocean.

Note. According to Tucker & Tenorio (2009) the genus Leporiconus Iredale, 1930  is characterised by subcylindrical to pyriform, sometimes torpedo shaped shells, with beaded early spire whorls, two or more cords on the spire whorls and ridges on the body whorl, which are usually well developed and pustulose. The shoulder is rounded to indistinct. The subsutural flexures of the Paratethyan species are shallow, weakly to moderately curved and moderately asymmetrical and the protoconch is multispiral. The generic description given by Tucker & Tenorio (2009) was based on the species considered by these authors to be included in the genus: C. glans Hwass in Bruguière, 1792  , C. caffeae Gmelin, 1791  , C. corallinus Kiener, 1845  , C. cylindraceus Broderip & Sowerby I, 1830  , C. granum Röckel & Fischöder, 1985  , C. luteus Sowerby I, 1833  , C. mitratus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792  , C. nucleus Reeve, 1848  and C. tenuistriatus Sowerby II, 1858  . However, Puillandre et al. (2014b) defined Leporiconus  as a monophyletic clade containing five of the species included by Tucker & Tenorio: C. coffeae  , C. glans  , C. granum  , C. luteus  , and C. tenuistriatus  , but excluded C. nucleus  and C. corallinus  , which they placed in the closely related genus Splinoconu s da Motta, 1991. Conus cylindraceus  and C. mitratus  they placed in the genus Turriconus Shikama & Habe, 1968  , which is not closely related to Leporiconus  . Therefore, the generic description should be modified to include only the species shown to be monophyletic by Puillandre et al. (2014b). The wording given above still applies to the genus, as recognised by Puillandre et al. (2014b), but torpedo-shaped shells should be removed, as the two species now included in Turriconus  are more slender torpedo shaped, with far higher spires than species in Leporiconus  . We cannot see any reliable shell characters by which to separate the present-day species of Leporiconus  and Splinoconus  , except that the spiral sculpture seems to be less prominent in Splinoconus  . This not surprising as the two genera are closely related ( Puillandre et al. 2014b; fig 2).

We have attributed to this genus a small number of Paratethyan species of which one, Leporiconus transsylvanicus ( Hoernes & Auinger, 1879)  is remarkably similar to the type species L. glans (Hwass in Bruguière, 1792)  . The other species are less obviously torpedo-shaped, but all have beaded early spire whorls. Conus transsylvanicus  and C. suessi Hoernes & Auinger, 1879  were placed in the genus Varioconus da Motta 1991  in a unpublished generic list made available to us by J.K. Tucker (personal comm. 2016), however, Varioconus  (considered as synonym of Lautoconus  by Puillandre et al. 2014a) lacks beads on spire whorls.

The presence of Leporiconus  in the Miocene Paratethys is interesting, as it documents the wide post-Tethyan distribution of a taxon during middle Miocene times nowadays restricted to the Indo-West Pacific.