Melanopsis dufourii Ferussac , 1822,

Neubauer, Thomas A., 2016, A nomenclator of extant and fossil taxa of the Melanopsidae (Gastropoda, Cerithioidea), ZooKeys 602, pp. 1-358: 105-106

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scientific name

Melanopsis dufourii Ferussac , 1822


Taxon classification Animalia Sorbeoconcha Melanopsidae

Melanopsis dufourii Ferussac, 1822 

Original source.

Férussac 1819-1851: Mélanopsides fossiles, pl. 1 (1822), fig. 16.

Type horizon.

Burdigalian, early Miocene (?).

Type locality.

"Des environs de Dax" [surroundings of Dax], France.


The name first appeared in 1822 on the captions for plate 1 of the “Mélanopsides fossiles" in Férussac’s "Histoire naturelle" (see also introduction for details). While Férussac (1823) included also recent specimens under that name in his monograph on the Melanopsidae  , the only specimen illustrated in 1822 in the "Histoire naturelle" was a fossil one from the Miocene of France. This fact remained widely unknown to biologists and paleontologists alike. Only few malacologists, such as Grateloup (1828, 1838, 1840), used the name correctly and attributed it to the French fossils. Consequently, none of the specimens referred to as Melanopsis dufourii  in the biological literature actually corresponds to the real Melanopsis dufourii  . Very likely, some of the other melanopsids from Dax (see, e.g., Grateloup 1838, d’Orbigny 1852, Pallary 1916) are unrecognized junior synonyms of this species.

The names " dufouri  " as mentioned by numerous authors and databases and " dufourei  " as given by Morelet (1853: 297) and Bourguignat (1884: 114) are incorrect subsequent spellings.