June 30, 2008
From: Constantine Mifsud
Concerning message #21616:
Here are a few images of Volvulella acuminata from the Mediterranean.
Locality: Off Gnejna Bay, 20 metres, Malta, Mediterranean, August 2007, in fine sand near Posidonia seaweeds. Length: 3 mm. Photographer: C. Mifsud.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMifsud C., 2008 (Jun 30) Re: Volvulella acuminata from the Mediterranean. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/21622
Thanks very much. There are not many people out there looking for live cephalaspidean bubble shells, so I welcome any photos I can get. Your reference to the Volvatella message gives me the chance to mention the somewhat similar shape of the shells in the sacoglossan Volvatella and the cephalaspidean Volvulella.
Unfortunately many shelled opisthobranchs have been named on the basis of their shells alone, and while the shells of Volvatella and Volvulella are easy to distinguish, there has been an on-going debate, unhappily still unresolved, over whether the names Volvulella Newton, 1891 [for Bulla acuminata Bruguiere, 1792] and Rhizorus Montfort, 1810 [for R. adelaidis Montfort, 1810] are synonyms. The shells certainly look the same but as they were described only on the shell it is very difficult to be sure. On top of that, Mediterranean and Nth American workers seem to prefer Volvulella while workers on the Nth Atlantic and Australian - New Zealand regions have opted for Rhizorus.
I have always preferred Rhizorus, as the older name, but have retained your usage of Volvulella in the hope of opening a discussion on the topic.