Helix ophelia Pfeiffer, 1855,

Brook, Fred J. & Ablett, Jonathan D., 2019, Type material of land snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) described from New Zealand by taxonomists in Europe and North America between 1830 and 1934, and the history of research on the New Zealand land snail fauna from 1824 to 1917, Zootaxa 4697 (1), pp. 1-117: 98

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Helix ophelia Pfeiffer, 1855


Helix ophelia Pfeiffer, 1855 

Pl. 15, fig. E

Pfeiffer, 1855b. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pt. 22.

Type material: Original description based on one or more specimens in the Cuming collection; type material not found in NHMUK collections in 2018, whereabouts unknown  .

Type locality: Unknown , listed as ‘ Australia?’ by Pfeiffer (1855b: 146), but possibly from New Zealand (see entry for ophelia Reeve  above)  .

Previous illustrations of type material: Reeve (1854 [in 1851–1854]: pl. 191, fig. 1345 [reproduced here in pl. 15, fig. E]); Cox (1868a [after Reeve 1854]: pl. 17, fig. 17); Tryon (1886 [after Reeve 1854]: pl. 62, fig. 42).

Remarks: Helix ophelia Reeve, 1854  and H. ophelia Pfeiffer, 1855  were probably based on the same type material in H. Cuming’s collection. Pfeiffer evidently intended to publish his description in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London issue for 1854 (see Reeve 1854 [in 1851–1854]: species 1345; Pfeiffer 1859: 30), but publication was delayed until 1855 ( Pfeiffer 1855b: 146), and was pre-empted by Reeve (1854). Authorship has previously been attributed to Pfeiffer (1855) (e.g., Cox 1868a: 34, 1868b: 68; Hector 1873: 6; Hutton 1880: 18; Tryon 1886: 211; Suter 1913b: 658; Powell 1979: 316; Spencer et al. 2009: 216), but Reeve (1854) has priority.

Taxonomy: Helix ophelia (Pfeiffer, 1855)  is a junior primary homonym and an objective junior synonym of Helix opheli  a Reeve, 1854 N. syn.


Natural History Museum, London