Philippine Science Letters
vol. 3 | no. 1 | 2010
published online March 30, 2010


Turris babylonia; re-evaluation of a species complex and description of Turris assyria, new species

by Baldomero M. Olivera1*, Romell A. Seronay2 and Alexander E. Fedosov1, 3

1Department of Biology, University of Utah, 257 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, U.S.A.
2Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
3A.N. Severtzov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninski Prospect 33, Moscow 119071, Russia



Turris babylonia (Linnaeus, 1758) is the designated type species of Turris, the nominate genus of the family Turridae. This species has unusual taxonomic significance, since the family Turridae is a large biodiverse group that has been highly problematic in its taxonomy. In this article, we address the identity of Turris babylonia: molecular data presented here and expanded elsewhere demonstrate that two distinctive varieties with divergent shell morphology, both conventionally assigned to Turris babylonia, are in fact different species. We describe one of the forms as Turris assyria, new species. Thus, specimens previously assigned to Turris babylonia now comprise at least two taxa, Turris babylonia and Turris assyria; it remains possible that each is a multi-species complex. Some of the numerous varieties and morphologically divergent forms in each complex may prove not to be conspecific with the two species, each precisely defined in this work by a specific barcode sequence.

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Submitted: February 4, 2010
Revised: March 1, 2010
Accepted: March 3, 2010
Published: March 30, 2010
Editor-in-chief: Gisela P. Padilla - Concepcion