Comment on Turbo bidens Linnaeus, 1758 (Gastropoda, CLAUSILIIDAE): request for setting aside the neotype (Case 3581)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2013
Authors:Kadolsky, D
Journal:Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
Volume:70
Issue:2
Start Page:108
Pagination:108-110
Date Published:06/2013
Type of Article:Case
Keywords:Alabama, Basilo- saurus, BASILOSAURIDAE, Basilosaurus kochii, Cetacea, Eocene, Mammalia, Nomenclature, primitive whales, taxonomy, Zygorhiza, Zygorhiza kochii
Full Text

Nordsieck (BZN 70: 43–45) argues again that Linnaeus’s Turbo bidens was based on the species better known as Papillifera papillaris (Müller, 1774). Giusti & Manganelli (2005) and Kadolsky (2009; BZN 69: 213–218) concluded that Linnaeus so named the species now known as Cochlodina laminata (Montagu, 1803), and gave a bibliographic reference to a different Cochlodina species of very similar external appearance, C. incisa (Küster, 1876). Kadolsky (2009) attempted to settle the identity question by proposing a neotype which rendered Cochlodina incisa a junior subjective synonym of Cochlodina bidens (Linnaeus, 1758). This action seemed to be the best possible solution following the decision in Opinion 2176 not to suppress the name Turbo bidens; it honoured the ruling in Opinion 2176 as well as the historical truth and avoided displacing one of the well established species names, papillaris or laminata. The centuries-old dispute should have been solved thereby had not Welter-Schultes needlessly applied to set aside the neotype designation and make Turbo bidens Linnaeus, 1758 an objective synonym of Helix papillaris Müller, 1774. In so doing, he ignored all reasoning put forward by Giusti & Manganelli (2005) and Kadolsky (2009). The key arguments of these authors may be summarized here:

1. There is no contradiction between Linnaeus’s diagnosis (‘sutura subcrenata’) and the cited figure (Gualtieri, 1742, pl. 4 fig. C), which shows a clausiliid with a subcrenate suture; therefore there is no reason to allege Linnaeus meant to quote Gualtieri’s figures D and/or E which depict Papillifera papillaris.

2. Linnaeus’s species cannot be Papillifera papillaris, because Linnaeus’ text does not mention the brown subsutural band interrupted by white papillae. Amongst hundreds of clausiliid taxa Papillifera papillaris can be immediately recognized by this external feature. All authors who characterized Papillifera papillaris described it. To Müller (1774) it inspired the choice of the species epithet, and to Hartmann (1842) the choice of the genus name. To suppose Linnaeus failed to mention it, or that Linnaeus’s term ‘sutura subcrenata’ describes it, is beyond belief.

3. Schröter’s (1784) opinion that Linnaeus’s Turbo bidens is synonymous with Helix papillaris Müller is erroneous, but is being treated to this day as authoritative by some authors.

4. Müller (1774) described the species now known as Cochlodina laminata (Montagu, 1803) under the name of Helix bidens (Linnaeus). He may have ascertained the species identity through his direct contacts with Linnaeus.

5. Falkner et al.’s (2002) designation of Gualtieri’s figure E as the neotype of Turbo bidens is invalid, as the specimen no longer exists and does not agree with Linnaeus’s species concept.

Only point 5 is not in dispute by Welter-Schultes and Nordsieck, insofar as the missing specimen is concerned.

Nordsieck’s comment is taken almost verbatim from an online essay which Kadolsky (BZN 69: 213–218) had already considered and partly discussed in his reply to Welter-Schultes’s application. In order to arrive at the opposite conclusions as Manganelli & Giusti (2005) and Kadolsky (2009, 2012) did, Nordsieck is in open denial of obvious facts (item 1 above), or ignores them (items 3, 4), or engages in reasoning replete with obfuscation and confusion (item 2) which culminates in his text p. 44 lines 6–13 and p. 45 lines 1–3, which can be paraphrased as: ‘The weakly crenulated sutures of Cochlodina laminata and C. incisa (visible in my figures 3 and 4, as well as in Kadolsky’s neotype specimen) cannot be described as subcrenate, because they are not papillate; such sutures have been described [by uncited subsequent authors in uncited taxa] as smooth.’ (!)

Nordsieck implies that Linnaeus used the term ‘crenatus’ (with its diminutives ‘crenulatus’ and ‘subcrenatus’) also in the sense of ‘papillatus’. An analysis of Linnaeus’s diagnoses of gastropod shells reveals, however, that he used the term ‘papillatus’ with the same meaning as did Gualtieri (1742), Müller (1774), Gmelin (1791, p. 3609) and Rossmässler (1835, p. 29), which agrees with the original meaning of the Latin papilla (a teat or nipple), as well as with the definition of the term ‘papillate’ in modern English.

Nordsieck cites Linnaeus’s contemporaries Schröter (1784) and Gmelin (1791) as witnesses that the interpretation of Linnaeus’s bidens as Papillifera papillaris is correct. Nordsieck does not mention contemporaries who interpreted Turbo bidens differently to the way Nordsieck wishes it to be. Müller (1774), Pennant (1777, p. 131, pl. 81 fig. 117), Chemnitz (1786, pp. 119–120, pl. 112, fig. 960.1), and Bruguière (1792, pp. 352–353) interpreted Turbo bidens Linnaeus as Cochlodina laminata; the two last-named included other species with it, but they described P. papillaris separately, using the species epithet papillaris.

Concerning Nordsieck’s witnesses, he ignores that Schröter’s treatment of Turbo bidens has already been discussed and rejected (Giusti & Manganelli, 2005; Kadolsky, 2009 and BZN 69: 213–218). Gmelin (1791, p. 3609, no. 87) united at least four different clausiliid species under the name of Turbo bidens: under his nominotypical form we find bibliographic references to Cochlodina laminata, Papillifera papillaris, Clausilia bidentata (Strøm, 1765) and unidentified species; his form ? is Papillifera papillaris; and his form ? is Albinaria corrugata (Bruguière, 1792) (see Gittenberger & Schilthuizen 1992 for the identity of the latter). Apparently he meant the nominotypical form to be Cochlodina laminata (contrary to Nordsieck!). His addition of the references to Buonanni’s and Gualtieri’s descriptions of Papillifera papillaris was by mistake, as he separated Papillifera papillaris as form ? from the nominotypical form. The erroneous inclusion in Turbo bidens of the original reference to Clausilia bidentata (Strøm, 1765) was first made by Müller (1774) and copied by Chemnitz (1786) and Bruguière (1792) as well as Gmelin (1791).

However, the opinions of subsequent authors are, strictly speaking, irrelevant as to the identity of Turbo bidens, as none of them seem to have inspected Linnaeus’ material with the possible exception of Müller (1774).

In summary, Nordsieck only rehashes disproven reasoning without offering new insights into the question of the identity of Linnaeus’s Turbo bidens. Therefore, the counterproposal (BZN 69: 218) to Welter-Schultes’s application stands.

Additional References

Bruguière, J.G. 1789–1792. Histoire naturelle des vers. In Encyclopédie méthodique ou par ordre de matières . . ., 1, 1789: i-xviii, 1–344; 1792: 345–758. Panckoucke, Paris.

Chemnitz, J.H. 1786. Neues systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet, 9(1): Vorwort + 151 pp., pls. 103–116. Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe, Nürnberg.

Gittenberger, E. & Schilthuizen, M. 1992. The earliest name in Albinaria Vest, 1867 (Gas- tropoda Pulmonata: Clausiliidae), clarified after two centuries. Basteria, 56 (4–6): 159–161 [18.12.1992].

Gmelin, J.F. 1791. Caroli a Linné, Systema naturae, sive regna tria naturae systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera et species. Editio XIII, aucta, reformata, 1(6): 3021–3910. Lipsiae.

Pennant, T. 1777. British Zoology. 4. Crustacea. Mollusca. Testacea. 135 pp., index of plates, 93 pls. Benj. White, London [octavo issue].

Rossmässler, E.A. 1835. Iconographie der Land- und Süßwasser- Mollusken, mit vorzüglicher Berücksichtigung der europäischen noch nicht abgebildeten Arten, 1(1): vi, 134 pp., 5 pls. Arnoldi, Dresden & Leipzig.

Strøm, H. 1765. Beskrivelse over Norske insecter, forste stykke. Det Trondheimske Selskab Skrifter, 3: 376–439, 1 pl.

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