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First record of Cymbovula acicularis (Gastropoda: prosobranchia: Ovulidae) from the coast of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Members of the family Ovulidae are found in warm marine waters as ectoparasites on sea whips and sea fans upon which they feed (Cate 1973; Rosenberg 1989; Redfern 2001). They are largely restricted to the microhabitat provided by their association with the various host species (Abbott & Morris 1995). The shell may be oblong, fusiform or elongate. The surface is smooth with the aperture extending the length of the shell and it lacks an operculum (Abbott 1974; 1986). Notable among living specimens is the expanded fleshy mantle which covers the shell and exhibits a variety of vivid coloration patterns (Keen 1971; Rehder 1981). Species of Ovulidae are known from the American Atlantic coast and exhibit distributions within the Virginian subprovince and Carolinian and Caribbean provinces (Abbott 1974; 1986; Andrews 1992). Five species, Cyphoma gibbosum (Linnaeus), C. macgintyi Pilsbry, C. allenae (Cate), C. intermedium (Sowerby) and Simnialena uniplicata (Sowerby), are currently known from the state of Tamaulipas in Mexico and have been reported from the northern and southern coastal zones (Leal 1978; Fregoso 1986; Perez 1993).

Cymbovula acicularis (Lamarck), has been reported from North Carolina to Brazil, Bermuda and the West Indies (Morris 1975, Warmke & Abbott 1975; Abbott & Morris 1995; Abbott & Dance 1998). Fossil specimens are known from the Pleistocene of South Carolina (Richards 1962). This species is currently known from the western Gulf of Mexico from Texas (Tunnell & Chaney 1970; Ode 1973) south to Veracruz, Yucatan (Vokes & Vokes 1983; Garcia-Cubas & Reguero 2004) and Quintana Roo (Oliva-Rivera & Navarrete 2007). This species, however, has not been previously recorded by prior surveys from the state of Tamaulipas (Fregoso 1986; Perez 1993; Perez-Rodriguez 1997; Rodriguez-Castro et al. 2005). This study reports the collection of Cymbovula acicularis from near the village of La Pesca on Barra Soto la Marina (23[degrees]42'06"N and 97[degrees]45'00"W) which is located along the central Tamaulipas coast 51 km east of Soto la Marina. This area is approximately 260 km south of the Texas coast, less than 50 km north of the Tropic of Cancer and exhibits a warm-subhumid climate (INEGI 1981). The area exhibits an isotherm with an average annual temperature of 25[degrees] C and average salinity of 33.9 ppt (Rodriguez-Castro 2002).

Two specimens of C. acicularis were collected during a field trip to the La Pesca area on 9 May 2007. The gastropods were found on specimens of yellow sea whips (Leptogorgia sp.: Gorgoniidae) upon which they are known to both live and feed (Rehder 1981; Britton & Morton 1989). The specimens are deposited in the Malacological Collection of the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Victoria (ITCVZ 5021). A second trip to the same site on 6 November, 2007 resulted in the collection of two additional specimens which are also deposited with the Instituto Tecnologico de Cd. Victoria collections (ITCVZ 5118).

The four specimens from La Pesca are yellow, elongated, thin and measure 8-17 mm in length (Figure 1). The aperture extends along the total length of the shell; the lip is thin and sharp. Columella with an opaque anterior thickening and with punctuations. Columellar area flattned. Surface brilliant, with spirals growth lines, more or less equidistant, slightly irregular towards the posterior area of the shell. The morphology of these specimens agrees with the descriptions of Redfern (2001) and Garcia-Cubas & Reguero (2004).


This record of C. acicularis from La Pesca brings the total number of marine gastropods reported from the state of Tamaulipas to 165. This is second only to Yucatan in the total number of reported species among those states in Mexico which border the Gulf of Mexico.


We wish to thank Fred G. Thompson for both his response and assistance to our request during this study for an examination of the Collection of Mollusks of the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida. Special appreciation is extended to Dr. Martha Reguero of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Dr. Fabio Moretzsohn of the Harte Research Institute at TAMU-Corpus Christi for suggestions that greatly improved this manuscript. Also to Anabel Gutierrez for her assistance in the preparation of the manuscript and to Gonzalo Guevara for the preparation of figure 1.

Resumen.-E1 gastropodo marino Cymbovula acicularis es registrado por primera vez para la malacofauna de Tamaulipas, Mexico.


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AC-S at:

Alfonso Correa-Sandoval and Ned E. Strenth

Laboratorio de Zoologia, Instituto Tecnologico de Cd. Victoria, A.P. 175, C.P. 87010, Cd. Victoria, Tamaulipas, Mexico (ACS) and Department of Biology, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, 76909
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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:Correa-Sandoval, Alfonso; Strenth, Ned E.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Feb 1, 2009
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