An earlier name for the Incised Turbonille

By Harry G. Lee

Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859 Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859

  A - Turbonilla caroliniana Holotype [Bushra Hussaini photograph]
  B - Turbonilla caroliniana from Sunset Beach, North Carolina [Jo O'Keefe photographs]
  C - Turbonilla caroliniana from Bear Island, North Carolina [David Kirsh photograph]

Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859

    There appears to be little doubt that Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859 (p. 86; pl. XIII: figs 9, 9a, 9b) from Cainhoy, Wando River, probably very late Post-Pleistocene (R. E. Petit, personal communication, 12 Jan., 2006) is conspecific with Turbonilla incisa Bush, 1899 (pp. 156-157; pl. VIII: fig. 12) described from the Recent of west Florida. An image of the holotype of the former (top, left: American Museum of Natural History [AMNH] originally no. 5676; later 11369), produced and provided by Bushra Hussaini and the fine work of Absalão and Pimenta (1999: 80, 86, 90: figs. 18, 19 [SEM]; see preceding page) elucidating a paratype (Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia [ANSP] 372503; holotype missing) of the latter taxon help confirm the synonymy.

    Turbonilla caroliniana is seldom mentioned in the literature. The few citations encountered relate to its synonymy. Chemnitzia reticulata C. B. Adams, 1850 (p. 75; Clench and Turner, 1950: 337) was considered a possible senior synonym of Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859 by Dall (1892: 260; with a "?"). Later Whitfield and Hovey (1901), Wolfe and Wolfe (1970), Odé & Speers (1972), and Porter (1974) uncritically repeated Dall's observation omitting the question mark. Adams named C. reticulata from Jamaica; it was never figured by its author, and its type material was lost according to Clench and Turner (1950). It was described as " ... white ... 26 to 30
[axial] transverse ribs, which become obsolete on the anterior surface, with very coarse distant raised spiral lines, decussating the ribs ... whorls about seven excluding the nucleus, with a well-impressed suture : aperture oval, acute above ...Mean divergence 12 degrees; length of spire 0.09 inch; total length .125 inch; breadth .04 inch." The rib-count is much higher, and the decussate sculpture, smaller size, absence of ribs on the anterior surface of the body whorl are not consistent with T. caroliniana. It is quite doubtful the two are synonymous. Furthermore, given the vagueness of the description, we must consider Chemnitzia reticulata C. B. Adams, 1850 a nomen dubium pending location of type material, which isn't likely.

    This research was stimulated by an inquiry made by Kevin Czaja to the Conch-L Internet list-serve on Jan. 12, 2006. He remarked that the name "Pyrgiscus caroliniana [sic] (Tuomey and [sic] Holmes) Carolina Turbonille" appeared in a book dealing with the shells of Martha's Vineyard (Heuer, 1970). Through a series of email exchanges, including valuable comments from R. E. Petit (North Myrtle Beach, SC), the proper attribution and generic assignment were accomplished. Reference to Lester Stephens' (1988: 38-39) biography of Holmes, which indicated the AMNH was sold some of the Holmes collection, led to the catalogue record of the holotype (Whitfield and Hovey, 1901: 474-475) and its being identified and photographed by Susan Hewitt and Bushra Hussaini at the AMNH. Now the identity of Turbonilla caroliniana Holmes, 1859 appears established, and it is a valid species, probably occurring throughout the Carolinian Province. Its presence on Martha's Vineyard, however, requires confirmation!

Absalão, R. S. and A. D. Pimenta, 1999.  Turbonillla (Gastropoda: Pyramidellidae) species described by Katharine Jeannette Bush: scanning electron microscope studies of the type material in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 149: 77-91. Jan. 29.

Adams, C. B., 1850. Contributions to Conchology 5: 69-75. Jan. [p. 75] [not seen, but see Clench and Turner, 1950]

Bush, K. J., 1899.  Descriptions of new species of Turbonilla of the western Atlantic fauna, with notes on those previously known. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 51: 145-177 + 1 pl. April.

Clench, W. J. and R. D. Turner, 1950a.  The western Atlantic marine mollusks described by C. B. Adams. Occ. Pap. Moll. 1(15): 233-403 incl. pls. 29-49. June 26.

Dall, W. H., 1892. Contributions to the Tertiary fauna of Florida with especial reference to the silex-beds of Tampa and the Pliocene beds of the Caloosahatchie River part II. Streptodont and other gastropods, concluded. Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science 3 (2): 201-473 + map + pls. 8-21.

Heuer, R. J., Jr., 1970. Exploring for Sea Shells on Martha's Vineyard. (Sponsored by the Felix Neck Wildlife Trust, Vineyard Haven, MA) Privately printed, Northbrook, IL. 102 pp.

Holmes, F. S., 1858-1860 [published in parts]. Post-Pleiocene Fossils of South Carolina. Russell and Jones, Charleston.1-98 + 14 pls. [R. E. Petit offers a collation of this rare and serial work: Title page (dated 1860); verso: name of printer and engraver. Dedication page; verso: Preface and acknowledgements. [i] - xii - Introduction, [i]-v - Index; v verso: Errata, 1-64, pls. 1-10 - Cover for Nos. 1 & 2 with printed date of 1858. "3, 4 + 5" plus "2 plates to a number" added in pen; 65-98, pls. 11-14 - Cover for "Nos. 6 and 7" with printed date of 1859.]

Odé, H. and A. B. Speers, 1972. Notes concerning Texas beach shells. Superfamily Pyramidellacea (continued). Texas Conchologist  8(8): 86-89.

Porter, H. J., 1974. The North Carolina marine and estuarine Mollusca - an atlas of occurrence. Univ. N. C. Inst. Mar. Sci., Morehead City, vi + pp. 1-351. May.l

Stephens, L. D., 1988. The story of Francis Simmons Holmes. Contributions from the Charleston Museum No. 17: xi + 67 pp.

Turgeon, D. D., J. F. Quinn, Jr., A. E. Bogan, E. V. Coan, F. G. Hochberg, W. G. Lyons, P. M. Mikkelsen, R. J. Neves, C. F. E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F. G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, and J. D. Williams, 1998.  Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: mollusks, 2nd edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 26, Bethesda, Maryland. ix + pp. 1-509 + 16 pls. (unpaginated).

Whitfield, R. P. and E. O. Hovey, 1901. Catalogue of the types and figured specimens in the palaeontological collection .... American Museum of Natural History .... Part IV, Lower Carboniferous to Pleistocene, inclusive. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 111(4): 357-500 + xv.

Wolfe, D. and N. Wolfe, 1970. Molluscs of North Carolina. Carteret County Regional Marine Science Project, Beaufort, NC. 69 pp. [not seen].

PS: The description of "Turbonilla (viridaria var?) virga n.s. ?" Dall (1884: 332), an available nominal taxon, sounds suspiciously like this species also - but that's another problem for another day. HGL