African Journal of Marine Science

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Short Communication

Myosotella myosotis (Mollusca: Ellobiidae) — an overlooked, but well-established introduced species in South Africa

DG Herbert


Myosotella myosotis is shown to be a well-established alien species in South Africa. Discovered in Port Elizabeth more than 100 years ago, it was initially thought to be indigenous and was described under two different names, but subsequent taxonomic work has demonstrated that these are synonyms of the variable and widely introduced European M. myosotis. This information, published in a revision of western Atlantic Ellobiidae, has escaped the attention of the South African marine science community. There has been no recent mention of M. myosotis or its two pseudoindigenous synonyms in the literature pertaining to either the estuaries or the malacofauna of South Africa, or to marine bioinvasions in the region. This example serves to demonstrate that invasion biology has a global context and that taxonomic literature is an important source of pertinent data. The fact that a species, which evidently occurs in abundance, can be overlooked for so long is both surprising and sobering.

Keywords: Alexia acuminata, Alexia pulchella, introduced estuarine species, invasive, pseudoindigenous synonyms

African Journal of Marine Science 2012, 34(3): 459–464
AJOL African Journals Online