Taxonomy of littoral Melanella (Gastropoda: Eulimidae) from Brazil, with comments on the Eulima described by Verrill and Bush (1900)

  • Leonardo Santos de Souza
  • Alexandre Dias Pimenta
Original Paper


The present study reviews the taxonomy of four species of Melanella that occur in the littoral and infralittoral zones (up to 10 m depth) of Brazil: M. hypsela (Verrill & Bush, 1900), M. eburnea (von Mühlfeld, 1824), M. breviuscula (Dunker, 1875), and M. amblytera (Verrill & Bush, 1900). These species differ mainly in the dimensions and shape of the protoconch, body whorl shape, and outline of the outer lip. The geographic distribution of the species in the western Atlantic is updated, with new records for M. eburnea, M. breviuscula, and M. amblytera. All species are widely distributed in the Tropical Atlantic, but the published records of M. eburnea from West Africa and mid Atlantic remain dubious. Additionally, this study discusses the type status of Eulima species described by Verrill and Bush (Trans Conn Acad Arts Sci 10:513–544, pls 63–66, 1900), illustrating all of them. Here, we provide lectotype designations for M. hypsela, M. breviuscula, and M. amblytera.


Vanikoroidea Eulimoidea Micromolluscs Polygireulima Melanella dufresnii Tropical Atlantic 



We would like to thank the curators/collection managers who sent loans, took photographs of type material, or opened collections for visits: G. Rosenberg, N. Phillips and P. Callomon (ANSP), J. Leal (BMSM), C. Oliveira and R. Absalão (IBUFRJ), A. Baldinger (MCZ), P. Spotorno-Oliveira and L. Barcellos (MORG), L. Simone and D. Cavallari (MZSP), S. Pye (NMSZ), S. Santos and R. Salgado (UERJ), E. Neves and R. Johnsson (UFBA), J.C. Barros (UFRPE), E. Strong and Y. Villacampa (USNM), Eric Lazo-Wasem (YPM IZ), C. Zorn (ZMB), F. Passos (ZUEC), M. Krisberg. We are much indebted to E. Lazo-Wasem for the valuable discussions about the types status of material deposited in YPM IZ. A. Eschner and C. Zorn for comments about J.C.N. von Mühlfeld’s type material. D. Geiger (SBMNH) and G. Rosenberg (ANSP) for disscusion on zoological nomenclature. V. Queiroz (USP) for comments and photographs of Melanella species. Two anonymous reviwers for valuable comments on the manuscript. J. Carneiro, L. Cordioli, M. Fernandes, F.N. Santos, B. Oliveira, V. Queiroz, M. Tavares, R. Ventura, and the whole team of EqMN for their help in collecting specimens. B. Cordeiro and C. Messias (MNRJ) for SEM micrographs. J.W. Reid for the review of the English language. This work was supported financially by “Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro” (FAPERJ) under grant numbers E-26/110.325/2014 and E-26/110.068/2014, and by the “Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland” for a grant to LSdS for visits to the malacological collections of Brazil. LSdS is grateful to “Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico” (CNPq) and “Conselho de Aperfeiçoamento de Ensino Superior” (CAPES) for the scholarships.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Santos de Souza
    • 1
  • Alexandre Dias Pimenta
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de InvertebradosMuseu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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