Materials, methods, and terminology


Images of type material published with original descriptions are considered to be in te public domain de facto. Those images are quoted appropriately with reference to original authors.

Each taxon has a prefered image appended. For images used on this site the following preferences are maintained:

1. Images of living animals with both shell and exterior features of animal well exposed.

2. Images of living animals showing shell but with animal withdrawn.

3. Shell photographs with as many orientations (ventral, dorsal, lateral, anterior, posterior) available as possible.

4. Any other.

Images will be replaced by better images (same locality of specimen) as appropriate.


[RV] For most pictures a Canon Eos 1d mark III and a Sigma 2.8 50mm EX macro lens were used. In those cases, the scale bar illustrated represents a length of 1cm (10mm).

For the smaller specimens and details, a Wild M3b stereo microscope, Scopetronic Maxview Plus microscope adapter, and the same Canon Eos 1d mark III DSLR was used. In those cases, the scale bar illustrated represents a length of 0.2cm (2mm).

Images were processed with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom version 3.x and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) version 2.x.

Photographs from the Internet have been given full credit to their copyright owners, under their respective CC licences.


Preparation of this site would have been extremely difficult without the existence of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), and the Göttinger DigitalisierungsZentrum (GDZ) of the Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Germany. BHL also serves as the foundational literature component of the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Digitised versions of a substantial part of the works listed in the bibliographies were made available on-line through one of these services. Additional sources include: Google Books (often quite poor quality); Gallica (National library of France); Jubilothèque (publications of the Société géologique de France). Hyperlinks directing you to the relevant bibliographical items are supplied with each item if available.

Included and excluded taxa:

All taxa originally included in a genus-group taxon nowadays included in the Olividae, e.g. Oliva, Olivella, or Ancillaria, are included. Those not considered to belong to the two families are assigned to their proper families and genera for as far as possible. For those taxa, usually only primary bibliographic references are given.

Nomina nuda and nomina dubia are indicated and listed as such.

Distribution data:

Distribution data are given as follows:

A. Realm and province(s) according to Spalding et al's "Marine ecoregions of the world", abbreviated MEOW (2007).

B. Distribution ranges according to previous authors.

C. Geographic units with verifiable data (photographs, literature references, collecting data).

Original descriptions:

Original description are quoted verbatim. In those cases where descriptions are given in two modern languages, preference is given to English. In those cases where descriptions are given in Latin and a modern language, preference is given to the modern language.

Bibliographic records:

All relevant bibliographic records are included. For all records, references to included taxa are recorded. For those taxon records where proper identification is very insecure, records are omitted.

Terminology used:

Sympatric. To be used in reference to two or more related species which have the same or overlapping geographic distributions, regardless of whether or not they occupy the same macrohabitat (whether or not these species occur together in the same locality). (Substantive form: sympatry.) {Rivas, 1964).

Syntopic. To be used in reference to two or more related species which occupy the same macrohabitat. These species occur together in the same locality, are observably in close proximity, and could possibly interbreed. (Substantive form: syntopy.) (Rivas, 1964)

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith