Blauneria heteroclita (Montagu, 1808) Left-hand Melampus

Scanning Electron Micrographs (SEM)
Blauneria heteroclita (Montagu, 1808) Left-hand MelampusBlauneria heteroclita (Montagu, 1808) Left-hand Melampus

    Clapboard Creek off Ft. George Road, Ft. George Island, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, 11/3/1978 (UF IZ 529698). Hmax of specimen in apertural view is 3.05mm; shell in oblique view (to show protoconch coiling) is over over 2.08 mm. SEMs performed by the collector, H. G. Lee, in collaboration with Dr. Ann Heatherington, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

Blauneria heteroclita (Montagu, 1808) Left-hand Melampus

    In shell sand at Florida Beach, near Falmouth, Jamaica, July, 1974. The larger specimen is 5 mm. in length. Digital image by Jenny Raven, Wellington Shell Club and provided by Mary Agnes Wotton.

    The genus Blauneria is the only gastropod taxon to exhibit sinistral heterostrophy, the left-handed animal begins life with a right-winding (dextral) shell and reverses its axis of coil  120° at the time the larval stage (protoconch) gives way to topology of what will become the adult snail. All its close relatives, e.g., Pedipes mirabilis, exhibit heterostrophy, but in the latter, as depicted in the upper right image, a sinistral protoconch morphs into a dextral adult shell.

     Here is a run-down of the somewhat complex nomenclature of the genus, a summary of  the zoogeography of its few species, and the literature upon which the information is based:


Superfamily ELLOBIOIDEA L. Pfeiffer, 1854 (1822) [Férussac (1822: xxxiii <>) introduced "LES AURICULES, Auriculae, FERUSS. Les Auriculeés BLAINV." as a family concept.]
Family ELLOBIIDAE L. Pfeiffer, 1854 (1822)
Subfamily ELLOBIINAE L. Pfeiffer, 1854 (1822)
Genus Blauneria Shuttleworth, 1854: 56. Type Tornatella cubensis L. Pfeiffer, 1841 (= Voluta heteroclita Montagu, 1808 by original monotypy [type material not found (Oliver et al., 2017)]. Western Atlantic, Indo-Pacific; three (possibly five) species, exclusively sinistral (heterostrophic):

  1. Blauneria heteroclita (Montagu, 1808) Jacksonville, FL (Lee, 2009) to São Paulo, Brazil (Martins, 1996).

  2. Blauneria gracilis Pease, 1860 Hawaii; not reported since 1869 (Kay, 1979), but possibly other "warm regions of the Indo-Pacific" (Martins, 1996). Mauritius, locally abundant (Griffiths and Florens, 2006).

  3. Blauneria quadrasi Möllendorff in Möllendorff and Quadras, 1895 Masbate (type locality) and Mactan, Philippines. Borneo, Malay Peninsula, Vietnam (Raven and Vermuelen, 2007).

Literatured cited:

Férussac [A.E.J.P.J.F. d’A.], Baron de, 1821-1822. Tableaux systématiques des animaux mollusques classés en familles naturelles, dans lesquels on a établi la concordance de tous les systèmes; suivis d’un prodrome général pour tous les mollusques terrestres ou fluviatiles, vivants ou fossils. Première Partie Tableaux systématiques généraux de l’embranchemant divisés en familles naturelles. Deuxième partie (premiere section.). Tableaux particuliers des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles présentant pour chaque famille les genres et espèces qui la composent. Bertrand, Paris. [often referred to as simply Le Prodrome by bibliographers] <>. Collation from Kennard (1942b: 106-107); the entirety of the text was also issued in livraisons 9-13 of the masterwork Férussac and Deshayes (1819-1851; see below)

·         Première Partie: [i]-xxiv Feb. 16, 1822; xv- xlvii + [i] April 13, 1822.

·         Deuxième partie première section: [3]-32 April 6, 1821; 33-56 May 26, 1821; 57-76  July 13, 1821; 77-92 September 21, 1821; 93-114 November 190, 1821.

Férussac, A.E.J.P.J.F. d’A. de and G.-P. Deshayes, 1819-1851. Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles, tant des espèces que l'on trouve aujourd'hui vivantes, que des dépouilles fossiles de celles qui n'existent plus; classés d'après les caractères essentiels que présentent ces animaux et leurs coquilles. J.-B. Bailliere, Paris. A complete collation, largely the work of Kennard (1942a, b, c) is presented in Lee (2018: 3-4). 

·         Tome 1: [i]-viii + [1]-402 <>

·         Tome 2(1): [i]-[ix] + [i]-xvi + [1]-184. <>

·         Tome 2(2): [1] – 260. <>

·         Tome 3 (Atlas 1): pls. 1-69K (69, 69A, etc. yielding 12 pl. 69's plus lots of other A's and B's; no plate 70 as in some bibliographies). This copy is not colorized and has a total of 123 plates: <> [An odd assortment of colorized (except for anatomical figures) plates from no. 1 to no. 42, preceded by Aplysia plates 1-25  [not among the 247 in the atlases] is at: <>]

·         Tome 4 (Atlas 2): pls. 71 to 166 [with multiple A's and B's] + fossil plates 1 to 5 + + (1)-22 [explication des planches] + ii [unpaginated; errata and addenda]. This copy is not colorized and has a total of 124 plates and explanation of all 247:  <> [An odd assortment of colorized plates from no. 43 to no. 163 (in ordinal sequence but with many nos. missing) plus all five of the “fossiles plate is at: <>. Interestingly, the only text is the cover of livraison 28 placed as it were the title page, which Kennard (1942b: 110) could not locate.]

Griffiths, O.L. and V.F.B. Florens, 2006. A field guide to the Non-Marine molluscs of the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius, Rodrigues and Réunion) and the Northern Dependencies of Mauritius. Bioculture Press, Mauritius. xv, 185 p., 12 figs, 32 (23 col.) pls, 32 col. photographs, 7 col. maps, 3 tables.

Kay, E.A., 1979.  Hawaiian marine shells Reef and shore fauna of Hawaii Section 4: Mollusca. [Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 64(4)]. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. xviii + pp. 1-653 incl. 195 pls.

Kennard, A.S., 1942a. The Histoire and Prodrome of Férussac Part I Introduction. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 25(1): 12-17. 23 January.

Kennard, A.S., 1942b. The Histoire and Prodrome of Férussac Part II Text of the Histoire. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 25(3): 105-110. 18 December.

Kennard, A.S., 1942c. The Histoire and Prodrome of Férussac Part III. The divisional names. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London 25(3): 111-119. 18 December.

Lee, H.G., 2009. Marine shells of northeast Florida. Jacksonville Shell Club, Jacksonville, FL. Pp. (1)-204 incl. numerous text figs.  + 19 color pls. 28 May. Checklist of treated species at Marine Shells Of Northeast Florida.

Lee, H.G., 2018. Xolotrema denotatum (Férussac , 18xx), its iconography and taxonomy – resolution. Shell-O-Gram 49(4): 2-4. July. <>

Martins, A.M. de F., 1996.  Anatomy and systematics of the western Atlantic Ellobiidae (Gastropoda: Pulmonata). Malacologia 37(2): 163-332. <>

MolluscaBase <>, last accessed September, 2021.

Oliver, P.G., H. Morgenroth, and A. Salvador, 2017. Type specimens of Mollusca described by Col. George Montagu in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter and the Natural History Museum, London. Zoosystematics and Evolution 93(2): 363–412 <>

Raven, H. and J.J. Vermueulen, 2007. Notes on the mollusks of NW Borneo and Singapore. 2. A synopsis of the Ellobiidae (Gastrocopta, Pulmonata). Vita Malacologica 4: 29-62. Feb. 23. Abstract at <>

Shuttleworth, R.J., 1854. Beiträge zur näheren Kenntniss der Land- und Süsswasser-Mollusken der Insel Portorico. Mittheilungen der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Bern. 1854 (314/316): 33-56. <>