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The Genus Cypraea


RECENT literature abounds with criticism of the current trend to split genera. The subfamily Cypraeinae (family Cypraeidae) is a case in point1,2. Linnæus's genus Cypraea, which forms the basis for the subfamily, contained 42 species. At present approximately 160 are recognized. These species have been distributed in no fewer than 60 genera over the past twenty-five years, 52 of which appear in the latest work on the group3.

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  1. Burch, J., Systematic Zoology, 5, 144 (1956).

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  2. Verdcourt, B., Nature, 178, 1414 (1956).

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  3. Allan, J., “Cowry Shells of World Seas” (Melbourne House, 1956).

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  4. Thiele, J., Handbuch der Systematischen Weichtierkunde (1931).

  5. Schilder and Schilder, Proc. Malac. Soc., 23, 119 (1938–39).

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  6. Steadman and Cotton, Rec. S. Austr. Mus., 8, 503 (1946).

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KAY, A. The Genus Cypraea . Nature 180, 1436–1437 (1957).

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