Micro-Mollusks From The Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia

Emilio Fabián García, 115 Oak Crest Dr., Lafayette, LA 70503  efg2112@louisiana.edu

Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia

    In June 2005, I spent several weeks in the Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia, an archipelago composed of low coral atolls supporting a rich molluscan fauna.

    I had been in the Tuamotus a number of times before, mostly ignoring the smaller species of mollusks. However, in this trip I decided to concentrate on collecting micro-mollusks in the four atolls that I visited by gathering "grunge" with a net at the small areas of sandy beach that now and then showed between rocks, and at the innumerable tide pools in the extensive rocky flats exposed at low tide. The collecting was done in Takapoto, Fakarava, Manihi and Tikehau atolls.

    The species listed and photographed are only a portion of those collected, and do not include Conus or Cypraea, as the species from the area are well- known, nor does it include many other common species. Most species were selected to record the taxa in the archipelago, such as is he case of Vexillum cosmani, or because I was not able to identify the species. Therefore, this list does not exemplify the molluscan richness of the Tuamotus, or the abundance of species for any particular family. However, it is noteworthy that the Vanikoridae and the Turridae are so well represented. 

    I hope that, with this efforts, the largely ignored micro-mollusks from French Polynesia and other parts of the world will help receive some of the recognition they deserve, and that more collectors will pay closer attention to them. I also hope that specialists will help with some of the identifications and so help all of us interested in micro mollusks.

    Should anyone have a suggestion as to a more precise identification for any of the species, please, e-mail me at the address above, referring to the catalogue number that appears within each image.

    My thanks to Bill Frank for his efforts in making this list available to collectors. I also would like to thank the following persons for helping with the identification of some of the species: Jozef Grego, Roland Houart, Gijs Kronenberg,  Harry Lee, Kevin Monsecour, Guido Poppe, Gary Rosenberg, Richard Salisbury, Andrew Wakefield, and John Wolff. Betty Ruggeri inspected the complete list and gave very helpful advice. 

    You are welcome to download any of the images linked from these pages for private non-profit use. If they are to be republished, please request permission from Dr. Emilio F. Garcia. Also see Terms Of Use.