Examination of specimens collected before 1960
Suitable samples were found in the wet collections of the Australian Museum in Sydney and the Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam. Six old samples of Volutidae could be studied in Amsterdam:
- Cymbiola nobilis (labelled as Voluta scapha Gmelin, 1791, which is a junior synonym), originating from Pulau Bintan, about 1°00’N, 104°30’E in Indonesia. Collected “Before 1930”. Shell height was 119 mm, female with a penis length of 2.9 mm and a ridge of the vas deferens from the base of the penis to the female aperture at attachment of the mantle border.
- C. nobilis (labelled as Voluta scapha), same site and date as no. 1. Shell height 111 mm. Female, length of penis 2.0 mm, vas deferens as above.
- Cymbiola vespertilio (Linnaeus, 1758) (labelled as Voluta vespertilio) collected on a coral bank at a depth of one fathom in the Bay of Riung, North coast of Flores, at 121°2’E, Indonesia, in October 1908. Legit Van der Sande. Shell height 57.2 mm. A male with a penis length of 18.6 mm.
- C. vespertilio with the same info as no. 3. Shell height 71.2 mm. A female with a mini-penis length 1.8 mm, and a ridge of the vas deferens much thinner than in the male.
- C. vespertilio collected near Kaimana on the south-west coast of Nieuw Guinea (West Papua), Indonesia, on 28 August 1910. Legit Minkema. Shell height 68.7 mm. A female with a mini-penis of 2.9 mm. Ridge of vas deferens as in no. 4.
- Melo sp., likely Melo amphora (Lightfoot, 1786). The sample consisted of only soft parts and a columella of a large shell. West coast Nieuw Guinea (now West Papua), Indonesia, 1904. Legit Dr. Koch. One female with a mini-penis of a length of about 11 mm. A high vas deferens ridge that ended before the attachment of the mantle border. The condition of the material did not allow to take the sample out of the bottle to inspect the other specimens.
In the Australian Museum, four female specimens of Melo amphora were found. They had a shell height of about 95 mm and were collected in Morton Bay, near Port Look out, Queensland, Australia. January 1934, Ref. C98826: Legit Mrs. Durbridge. All showed a small penis and a pallial vas deferens ridge.
Fig. 4. Cross-sections of penis (upper row) and vas deferens ridge (lower row) of males of Cymbiola nobilis (A) and Melo melo (B).