Opisthobranch molluscs from the Tertiary of the Aquitaine Basin (south-western France), with descriptions of seven new species and a new genus



An exceptionally well-preserved collection of Tertiary opisthobranch molluscs from the Aquitaine Basin, France, includes species of the order Notaspidea [Umbraculum sanctipaulensis sp. nov., Tylodina perversa (Gmelin), Spiricella unguiculus Rang and Des Moulins, Berthella aquitaniensis sp. nov., Berthella ateles sp. nov.], of the order Anaspidea [Akera cf. bullata Mu¨ller, Floribella corrugata (Cossmann), Floribella cossmanni sp. nov., Floribella rozieri sp. nov., Limondinia ornata gen. et sp. nov.] and of the order Sacoglossa [Volvatella faviae sp. nov.]. BerthellaaquitaniensisB. atelesV. faviae are the first fossil records of the families Volvatellidae and Pleurobranchidae. Floribella plicifera (Cossmann) and F.corrugata, originally assigned to the genus Philine, belong to the genus Floribella and constitute the oldest records of this genus. The fossil evidence indicates that in Umbraculum laudunensis and U. sanctipaulensis the shell probably covered most of the animal, whereas in the Recent U. umbraculum the shell only covers the central portion of the body. Tylodina perversa could be an old species that appeared during the early Miocene, more than 21 Ma. The Recent shells of Akera bullata are indistinguishable from fossils as old as the mid Eocene, but it may be biologically unrealistic to consider them to be the same species. The European species of Floribella evolved from the bullomorph shells of the early Eocene forms to the elongate shells of the early Miocene. The genus Volvatella is another example of marine tropical disjoint distributions and an excellent ecological indicator.