Series: Abhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Hamburg Series Volume: 30
By: R Bieler
390 pages, 3 plates, 286 figs.
For the first time in over 100 years, the marine gastropod family Architectonicidae, commonly known as sundials, has been monographed for the Indo-Pacific. Ranging from the temperate regions to the tropics, and from the intertidal zone to oceanic depths, the morphologically diverse sundials are not only popular, but are of current interest in gastropod phylogenetic systematics because they form a main clade within the problematic "lower heterobranchs."
This volume covers all living species in the Indian and Pacific Oceans (east Africa to the west coast of the Americas), illustrated by over 600 photographs, scanning electron micrographs, maps, and other figures. An introductory section summarizes morphology and anatomy, reproduction and larval developement, habitat and diet, phylogeny, and the fossil record. Zoogeographic analyses recognize large areas of distribution for most species, in contrast to previous assumptions of endernism. Of the 250 species-level names discussed, 88 species in 11 genera are recognized as valid. Additionally, 20 species are described as new. The taxonomic section treats each species in detail, including synonymies and redescriptions based on examination of more than 22,000 specimens from over 50 international museum collections, as well as from original field work. All available type specimens were examined and are listed and illustrated. Taxonomic characters emphasize a "finger-print" pattern of homologous spiral ribs on the postlarval shell, as well as species-typical size range and morphology of the larval shell. Comparisons are made with the Atlantic members of the family.
Also included is a bibliography of nearly 800 titles, making this work one of the most complete general references for Indo-Pacific mollusks.
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