Here’s the problem. I’m not particularly knowledgable about Cones and my library in this area is miniscule. My interest is limited to shells found in Florida and the same or related species found north along the Atlantic coast, in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coast of South America. There is a group of small Cones found in Florida generally labeled in collections (including most museum collections) as Conus jaspideus
Gmelin, 1791. Many books, guides and papers have utilized subspecies and form names for the similar varieties found. And, apparently, there are numerous similar shells found in the Caribbean and along South American coast. These shells are generally referred to as the Jaspideus
Complex. However, there is disagreement among Cone collectors as to exactly which species are in the complex and which clearly are not.
The landmark paper that recently addressed the Jaspideus
Danker L. N. Vink, The Conidae of the Western Atlantic Part XV
, La Conchiglia
, Year XXII - N 261 (October/December 1991).
In my opinion, Vink did three important things:
1. He established a documented baseline for the true C. jaspideus
. By doing so he created a standard against which similar shells can be evaluated.
2. He made a review of all the then named shells “referable” to C. jaspideus
and established his interpretation of which were valid species and which of the valid species belonged in the Jaspideus
Complex. Note that Vink did miss at least one shell in his list of “referable” shells now potentially considered part of the Complex - Conus iansa
3. The most significant fact noted by Vink was his agreement with Alan Kohn that “the taxonomy of C. japideus
remains to be satisfactorily resolved through study of natural populations” and his recognition “that further work will be necessary” and his “present revision may serve as a new basis to start from.”
Vink recognized the following five shells as valid species composing the Jaspideus
Vink’s paper was particularly helpful for me since he considered only pealii
as occurring in Florida. While further studies migh reveal otherwise, until then, it allowed me to categorize my “jaspideus
-like” Florida Cones as stearnsii
, with a few from the east coast as “questionable.” For those interested in distinguishing Florida shells from jaspideus
and deternining if they are stearnsii
, see the following discussions:Conus jaspideus Gmelin, 1791 Conus pealii Green, 1830 Conus stearnsii Conrad, 1869
During August 2010 I posted several inquiries on Conch-L regarding identification of some questionable Florida east coast shells. A discussion followed online and off that eventually focused generally on the Jaspideus
Complex and more specifically those found in Florida. One of the offshoots of the discussion became several exchanges about what species might currently be included in the Jaspideus
Complex. Unlike my other topics, I am not going to quote the chronology of the actual comments. Instead, I will start by accepting Vink’s baseline and indicating which species have been suggested are no longer valid and which might be added.
8/26/10 Contributing an analysis to help us understand the potential distribution of shells in the Jaspideus
Complex, John Tucker included the following species:jaspideus
8/30 Marcus Coltro of Femorale provided a list and links to the shells in their database they considered as belonging to the Complex:jaspideus
Gmelin, 1791jaspideus verrucosus
Petuch, 1986 damasoi
Petuch, 1979mindanus agassizii
Dall, 1889mindanus duvali
8/31 Bill Fenzan suggested two more be considered:pfluegeri
With this input I had the following possibilities:
I then did a web search for all the names and came up with the following information:
Based upon what I found I added the “Comment” column in the above table. As a result I believe the following list is a good discussion baseline for the valid species potentially composing the Jaspideus
The above is presented as a “straw man” to serve as the basis for discussion. I encourage everyone to express their opinion (hopefully with a reference or two of support). I understand that until a comprehensive, population-wide molecular analysis is accomplished, we probably cannot be very certain. However, I would hope we might reach a consensus and appropriately arrive at a better working list. As a minimum we’ll have a lively exchange and present a lot of helpful information to remain posted for consideration.
Feel free to post responses on Conch-L, here on LTS, to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or to any of the participants (please copy me). I’ll act as editor and secretary, and add material here as appropriate.
MORE TO COME!