Focus on W African endemic cone shells

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Focus on W African endemic cone shells
12-01-2017, 11:21 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-03-2017, 11:26 AM by JackSullivan.)
#1
Focus on W African endemic cone shells
When I started collecting I nearly bought everything I saw that caught my eye. I haven't done a count but I must have at least 200-300 species of Conus with multiples of some. The logistics of curating such a large collection have had the desired effect of absorbing much of my 'free' time.

My fascination with the highly variable shell pigmentation of Conus mercator & its close relatives Conus belairensis & Conus cacao from Senegal has resulted in my narrowing my field of interest to the endemic cone snails of Senegal, Cape Verde & the Canary Islands.

My collection of 30+ C. mercator shells is intended to study the variation of size, shell structure & pigmentation of this species as well as its geographic range. I am doing the same for C. cacao, which has similar pigment patterns but a slightly different geographic range. WoRMS claims that C. cacao is a synonym of C. mercator while they appear to have different ranges & different coloration but very similar pigment patterns. I want to study these shells in my lab & come to my own conclusion on this question.

As part of my study I have ordered a lot of 18 shells belonging to these species from a dealer in Portugal http://www.atollseashells.com/ . Gonçalo Rosa is owner of Atoll Specimen Shells & so far has provided me with prompt & excellent service on pricing & shipping updates. He has quite an inventory of shells of all types.

Jack
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12-18-2017, 12:29 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-18-2017, 01:14 PM by JackSullivan. Edit Reason: Add pix )
#2
RE: Focus on W African endemic cone shells
(12-01-2017, 11:21 AM)JackSullivan Wrote: When I started collecting I nearly bought everything I saw that caught my eye. I haven't done a count but I must have at least 200-300 species of Conus with multiples of some. The logistics of curating such a large collection have had the desired effect of absorbing much of my 'free' time.

My fascination with the highly variable shell pigmentation of Conus mercator & its close relatives Conus belairensis & Conus cacao from Senegal has resulted in my narrowing my field of interest to the endemic cone snails of Senegal, Cape Verde & the Canary Islands.

My collection of 30+ C. mercator shells is intended to study the variation of size, shell structure & pigmentation of this species as well as its geographic range. I am doing the same for C. cacao, which has similar pigment patterns but a slightly different geographic range. WoRMS claims that C. cacao is a synonym of C. mercator while they appear to have different ranges & different coloration but very similar pigment patterns. I want to study these shells in my lab & come to my own conclusion on this question.

As part of my study I have ordered a lot of 18 shells belonging to these species from a dealer in Portugal http://www.atollseashells.com/ . Gonçalo Rosa is owner of Atoll Specimen Shells & so far has provided me with prompt & excellent service on pricing & shipping updates. He has quite an inventory of shells of all types.

Jack

Conus mercator & Conus cacao are closely related. I have 50 examples of the former & 8 of the latter in my collection. This evening I copied the location data from their labels.

Conus cacao comes from Ndayane & Mbour in the Thies Region of Senegal, 80 km south of Dakar. All the Conus mercator come from the area around Dakar. So the 2 species are separated by quite a stretch of Atlantic Ocean. They are also physically distinct, as you might expect from populations that evolved separately from a common ancestor. Yet surprisingly the WoRMS data base states that Dr. P. Bouchet at the Natural History Museum in Paris has recently decided that they are the same species.

I have pdfs of several scientific papers as recent as 2017 that identify C. mercator & C. cacao as closely related but distinct species on the basis of DNA data.

The first 2 attached pix from the left are 2 examples of C. cacao. The third & fourth are C. mercator.

Jack


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12-20-2017, 05:54 AM,
#3
RE: Focus on W African endemic cone shells
Hello Jack,

I never been to this part of the world. Effectively Conus mercator is a very nice specie ! Smile

Did you get my mail about your request on MP (I did not received the email about MP in box, sorry for the delay). Next time write directly to my personal mail pharma.collo@gmail.com

Bye !
DAVID
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12-21-2017, 12:06 PM,
#4
RE: Focus on W African endemic cone shells
(12-20-2017, 05:54 AM)david touitou Wrote: Hello Jack,

I never been to this part of the world. Effectively Conus mercator is a very nice specie ! Smile

Did you get my mail about your request on MP (I did not received the email about MP in box, sorry for the delay). Next time write directly to my personal mail pharma.collo@gmail.com

Bye !
DAVID

Hi David

Yes, I received your PM in response to my question & I have passed along the information to Goncalo in Portugal.

The W African endemics are very interesting because they are strictly endemic: a species may not only be restricted to a certain island but also to a single bay there!

Do you know Dr. Philippe Bouchet at the Paris Museum? If you do I would appreciate your introducing me to him as I would like to have email exchange with him on Conus cacao & Conus mercator. I have his email address.

Thanks!

Best

Jack
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12-21-2017, 06:05 PM,
#5
RE: Focus on W African endemic cone shells
Hello,

I met only once Philippe Bouchet at La Rochelle Conus shell show. So, I cannot say that I can introduce you to him but if you have his email, just contact him. There is no reason why he would not exchange infos with you.

Bye !
DAVID
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