Posted: May 2 2012

 Favartia cellulosa (Conrad, 1846), Pitted Murex   

Includes descriptions of pacei and nuceus

Posted: May 5 2012

5/2/2012 Notice of this presentation posted on Conch-L with:

"Comments and additional photos welcome."

Tom Watters:

"Your Cudjoe Key cellulosa is pacei Petuch, 1988. I know you

don't believe in such things, but the triangular shape is quite

distinctive. Even Vokes recognized it."

5/2/2012 Marlo replied to Tom:

"You wouldn’t happen to have a scan of Petuch’s description?

Did Vokes just “go along” or confirm based upon analysis? I

don’t have either publication."

Everett Long:

"Now to go back thru mine to see if I got them right. I saw your comment about Petuch. Was somewhat surprised since WoRMS accepts Favartia pacei, Petuch, 1968 as a valid shell." "Just wondering because I have some marked pacei."

Roland Houart:

"This is excellent work Marlo! Thanks!"

Marlo inquired of Roland:

"Thanks for the kind comment. I’ve received two comments that the shells presented as F. cellulosa from Cudjoe Key is pacei Petuch. How do you feel about the validity of this name?"

Fabio Moretzsohn:

Fabio pointed out that Malacolog and WORMS accept F. pacei. He also reported that "We don't have F. pacei reported in Texas, so I'm not very familiar with it. I found one site with photos of F. pacei." " You should ask Roland, who's the expert on murexes."

The photos Fabio found were by Andre Poremski of Aurantius Shells as follows (with permission):

5/2/2012 Marlo replied to Fabio:

"I have sent an inquiry to Roland.

I did check your Encyclopedia and the other sites. I have found that the “acceptance” on Malacolog and WORMS is not necessarily based upon independent validation, but most often simply acceptance of valid publication (not that the work is valid, just that it was reported in a valid publication)."

5/2/2012 Fabio responded:

"Your assumption about the acceptance of names in Malacolog and WoRMS is probably correct.

5/2/2012 Tom replied to my request for descriptions:

"I can send one from my office tomorrow." "Vokes recognized some and not others in her

epic Tulane series on Muricidae ..." Here's a pacei from Florida from my Digital Murex website

(digital MUREX):

Tom provided scan of Voke's treatment.

5/3/2012 After reviewing Vokes, Marlo wrote to Tom:

Vokes' final comment "says to me that it is not 'unexplained' unless you try to hold to the idea that they are separate species. The more scientifically parsimonious explanation would be that they are not, but that some offspring are just more biconical, just as some offspring are shorter or more disposed to being heavy."

Roland replied to Marlo's inquiry about the validity of F. pacei:

"Sometimes somebody will have to explain me the differences between F. cellulosa and F. pacei, F. lindae and F. goldbergi."

Marlo: It would seem that F. pacei is far from unquestionably considered a valid species. Tom summed it up best in reply to my comment about Vokes:

"This sounds like a job for... Genetics Man!"

5/2/2013 In the mean time
Emilio Garcia had written:

"Great presentation on Favartia alveata and F. cellulosa. Now, how about F. nucea, which is considered valid by Malacolog and WoRMs and which, according to the former, inhabits west Florida? I have never collected it there but it must inhabit west Florida, as I have collected it in Louisiana and Campeche."

Marlo replied:

"I'm not really familiar with the related literature. Has there been credible work that would confirm F. nucea as a truly separate species and not just a form as indicated by Abbott? It’s also been pointed out that the Cudjoe Key shell I presented could be F. pacei Petuch, 1988.

I have found that the “acceptance” on Malacolog and WORMS is not necessarily based upon independent validation, but most often simply acceptance of valid publication (not that the work is valid, just that it was reported in a valid publication)."

Emilio answered:

"I agree that both Malacolog and WoRMS list names as "accepted" as long as there is no valid literature that proves otherwise. On the other hand, Tucker himself has certainly made many mistakes along the way; and, I just checked Emily Vokes' master list of Muricidae (not published), and she also considers it valid.

The reason for my earlier e-mail to you was precisely because someone needs to focus on F. cellulosa vs. F. nucea, and who better than you, since ... it is a Floridian taxon. When I found my specimens (see García, 2011*)I had to confirm the ID with Roland Houart. In spite of the great variability of F. cellulosa ... , I did find these specimens to be different.

As I said in my earlier message, I don't have a Floridian nucea. Perhaps you could ask Conch- L listers. Of course, I am willing to help in any way I can. Roland could provide a definitive diagnosis."

Marlo: I believe this reference is Emilio's article "Noteworthy mollusks from the Gulf of Mexico, including new record sizes and geographical extensions," American Concologist Sep 2011.

5/10/12. G. Thomas Watters, Curator of Molluscs, The Ohio State University, provided scans of Vokes' treatment of F. nucea. I've edited and created slides:

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