Murex tautiranus Curtiss, 1938,

Low, Martyn E. Y. & Tan, Siong Kiat, 2014, On the identities of the molluscan names described in A Short Zoology of Ta h i t i in the Society Islands by Anthony Curtiss in 1938 (Mollusca: Cephalopoda, Gastropoda), Zootaxa 3764 (3), pp. 394-400: 396-397

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Murex tautiranus Curtiss, 1938


Murex tautiranus Curtiss, 1938  , a synonym of Monoplex nicobaricus (Röding, 1798) 

Original description (pp. 189, 190). “The Tahiti murex  , which shares with many other sea-snails the name of pupu, is a slug-like animal, which, when it goes into its shell, has the gray bottom of its foot across the opening. Its shell is very rough, but not spiny; it is solid and heavy. It is spiral, and spindle-shaped; it is an inch and seveneighths in length. The color is variegated, greenish, brown, and lavender. The outer edge of the opening is green, while the inner side has elevated whitish streaks, like flat teeth, the ground color being orange. The opening ends in a straight canal, seven-sixteenths off an inch long, behind. This is found in the sea below tide-mark. … ( Murex tautiranus  . (In the sea, near Tautira.))”.

Identity. Based on Curtiss’s rather detailed descriptions of the conchological characteristics (i.e. spindleshaped, very rough, solid and heavy shell; colour variegated, greenish, brown, and lavender; aperture [inner side] with elevated teeth-like whitish streaks on an orange ground colour; siphonal canal straight [about a quarter of the total shell length]), the “Tahiti murex  ” is very likely Monoplex nicobaricus (Röding, 1798)  , albeit a rather small specimen. The orange-red aperture with many white ridges and very coarse sculpture are amongst conchological characteristics distinctive of this widely-distributed species (see Beu 1998).