In 1995, Rockel, Kom & Kohn published the first volume of their Manual of the Living Conidae, dealing with the Indo-Pacific region. Further volumes, which were supposed to deal with the Atlantic fauna, the western coast of America, and the South African province were never published however. In 2004, Monteiro, Tenorio & Poppe began to fill that gap by publishing a complete study of the Mediterranean and West African species of Conus. Immediately afterwards, the same team began to work on this iconographical revision of the South African province.
The South African province, extending from Namibia (west coast of Africa) to South Mozambique (east coast), is characterized by the presence of a certain number of endemic species, together with a large number of species whose geographical distribution includes many other areas of the Indo-Pacific. In a few instances, the distribution seems to be interrupted, in the sense that species that are known from Japanese waters, for instance, also occur in South Africa, while being unknown in many locations in between.
The present work follows the format used in the part of the Iconography dealing with Mediterranean and West African Cones. In fact, plate numbers start at no. 165, which is the number that follows the last plate appearing in the previous section. All the endemic species and subspecies of Conus from the South African province are illustrated and described in detail. The authors have also included here certain species such as Conus baeri, which are restricted to southern Mozambique localities. From their point of view it is not appropriate to treat as "Indo-Pacific" such species as occur only in southern Mozambique, just because they are found a few miles north of the South Africa/Mozambique border, and therefore they are treated here as endemic to the South African province. South African/southern Indian Ocean geographical subspecies have been reported for some Indo-Pacific Conus taxa, and these are also discussed in detail in the present work. On the other hand, variations of typical Indo-Pacific Conus species which occur in South African waters have been listed (and illustrated whenever possible), but are not discussed in detail. Some of these variations are regarded as "forms", lacking taxonomic value and some of these have been commented on in the text, whenever appropriate. As in the previous work, the authors have tried also to illustrate the radular teeth of as many southern African Conus species as possible. This has been achieved for most taxa, in a few instances for the first time. Nevertheless, there are still a number of South African endemic Conus for which the morphology of the radular tooth is unknown.
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