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This searchable catalogue lists all available species-group names in the gastropod genus Conus published starting with the 10th Edition of the Systema Naturae (Linnaeus, 1758), through 2009, that have come to our attention. It thus incorporates the previously published catalogues of Tomlin (1937) and the 40-year (1937-1976) update of Kohn and Riggs (1979), subsequent computerized updates (e.g. Kohn, 2000), subsequently published names, and earlier names omitted by the previous catalogues. Lists of corrections and of names that should be deleted from Tomlin (1937), with the reasons for doing so, are also included.

Taxonomic catalogues are indispensable tools for practicing taxonomists, but they require constant updating. This version of the catalogue reflects ICZN Opinion 1905 (Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 55: 191-193, 1998), that placed the Card Catalogue of World-Wide Shells (Kaicher, 1973-1992) on the Official List of works available for zoological nomenclature. Since the last update of this catalogue, a useful publication by Filmer (2001) has appeared that lists all proposed species-group names for Recent Conus appearing between 1758 and 1998. It also includes unavailable names and comments on the validity of available names. However, like all printed books, it suffers from several limitations that electronic media easily overcome (Kohn, 1983): Published catalogues are inflexible, as they can only be corrected by subsequent errata sheets and updates. Moreover, each successively published update adds another document that the user must search, and this makes locating individual records more difficult. Publication in printed journals may take a year or more, thus delaying accessibility to new information, and it is also expensive, particularly considering that the information while indispensable to few is of little interest to many.

The present version contains 3,253 species-group names. Of these, 830 were published after 1936, an average of 12 new species-group names introduced annually. During the last three decades of the 20th Century the rate of new species introductions increased to 16 per year (see the figure).

Graph shows Decadal rates of publication of new species-group names in Conus for the years 1758-2000.

The catalogue is a searchable online database and search results are available for download as a MS-WORD, MS-EXCEL, or tab-delimited text file. In the MS-WORD version, the entries in general maintain the format used by Tomlin (1937; see Kohn and Riggs, 1979: Table 1). However, because Tomlin’s work was published so long ago, some abbreviations he used are expanded in the interest of clarity for modern users. The database version maintains the same format to the extent permitted by its matrix organization. If a species-group name was proposed in a genus other than Conus, or if the original author placed it in a subgenus, this genus-group name is indicated on the right in the entry. I have carefully attempted to ascertain the availability of all names listed but refrain from commenting on their validity.

Database Search. Each available species-group name is assigned a row in the database. From left to right the columns provide:

  1. Species-group name (The symbol * following a name indicates that the original reference has not been examined.)
  2. Author
  3. Subspecies of (If the new name was proposed at the subspecies level, the species to which the original author assigned it.)
  4. Subspecies of author (If the new name was proposed at the subspecies level, the author of the species to which the original author assigned it. “v.” indicates that the new name was originally described as a variety.)
  5. Genus (The genus-group name if the original author assigned it to a genus other than Conus.)
  6. Citation of the original description
  7. Year of publication
  8. Fossil (Geologic age if the taxon was described originally as a fossil.)
  9. Type locality (If subsequently designated, the author and date of the designation are given in parentheses.)
  10. Region (EA = Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean, EP = Eastern Pacific; IP = Indo-Pacific; SA = South Africa; WA = Western Atlantic and Caribbean.)
  11. Type in (The repository of the primary type specimen, the holotype unless otherwise stated, with its catalogue number if known.) Locations of types are given as recorded in original descriptions except when I have learned of transfers to other institutions.

Downloadable Search Results. The file versions available for download contain the same information as above, but each is configured for a different program and use. The MS-WORD version is in a more “printer-friendly” format. It is designed to be printed landscape on 8.5x11-inch paper. The MS-EXCEL version has the same structure as the database and opens directly in MS-EXCEL. The tab-delimited text version is in the same format as the MS-EXCEL version, but is for users who do not use MS-EXCEL and would like to import the data into another spreadsheet program.


The Catalogue includes more than 100 names published prior to 1937 but omitted by Tomlin (1937). It exludes the 247 unavailable names listed by Tomlin (1937). Most of these are incorrect subsequent spellings, nomina nuda, names in works on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Works in Zoological Nomenclature (Melville and Smith, 1987), and names of species originally described in Genera such as Pleurotoma, Cryptoconus and presently considered members of the traditional family Turridae. The Catalogue also corrects the errors in Tomlin (1937) listed by Kohn and Riggs (1979: 146), as well as others discovered subsequently. These are restricted to nomenclature and citations; they do not include changes in e.g., geologic age of type localities but do include some locations of type specimens.

In a separate section, the Catalogue lists all genus-group names introduced in Conus s.l. and updated from Emerson and Old (1962).

Please send any information about omissions and errors to

The following contributed importantly to this Catalogue and its earlier editions: S.S. Kim, P.E. Pointer, A.C. Riggs, H.T. Dang, A.K. Swarthout, and T.A. Bodé.

J.K. Tucker, A.R. Kabat, R.E. Petit, D. Röckel, W. Korn, E. Rolán, G. Rosenberg, E. Rolán, R. Portell, T. Bell, and the late W.E. Sage III and K.C. Vaught provided important information, and S. Bartroff and B. Divine provided technical assistance.