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Posted: Oct 27 2006, 11:42 AM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 12-November 05
Marshallora modesta (C.B. Adams, 1850)
Marshallora nichupte Rolan & Cruz-Abregoo, 1995
Marshallora nigrocincta (C.B. Adams, 1850)
This discussion arises from a Triphora present in the Key Largo Micros material. Dan Teven posted the following comment:
"There was one Triphora in the batch, which appears to be Marshallora modesta. According to Redfern, Triphora nigrocincta (which is what I would've called this shell) may really be a complex of species, of which M. modesta is one. I presume M. nichupte is another, but I still haven't seen a pic or a description."
There are several of us collectors here in Florida who agree with the comment cited by Redfern regarding M. nigrocincta. Be that as it may, M. modesta is a clearly defined species very common around Florida often identified as M. nigrocincta. M. nichupte is far less common (as far as I know only documented from the Keys), but since it was named only 11 years ago, it may well be in collections from other Florida locations as M. modesta.
M. modesta and M. nichupte are very, very similar. And, if you are trying to identify a less than adult specimen, there is really only one character to rely upon to reliably distinguish the two. The protoconchs are distinctly different. The protoconch of M. nichupte has 1.5 - 2 smooth, bulbose whorls. The protoconch of M. modesta has 4- 4.5 conical whorls with those below the nucleus having two spiral cords in the middle and axial cords above, in between, and below. The following comparison images are the best I can do as of this moment.
CLICK HERE for a detailed description of Marshallora modesta.