An Illustrated and Cross-Referenced Glossary of
Malacological and Conchological Terms

by Paul S. Mikkelsen

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Term Definition

PRODISSOCONCH   [need definition].

CONCH   A COMMON NAME referring to a member of the gastropod family Strombidae. Also, and generally, a seashell; see also: ANIMAL. People that study seashells (conchs) are CONCHOLOGISTS.
Note: Although the "Florida Horse Conch" (Triplofusus giganteus (Keiner, 1840)) is so named, it is a misnomer and is more properly called a "Horse Whelk," as it is in the whelk family: Fasciolariidae.

CONCH PEARL   A PEARL, often pink in color, produced by the Queen Conch, Strombus gigas.

CONCHIOLIN   A HORNY, proteinaceous material that makes up the periostracum of a shell and also forms the organic matrix for calcareous parts of the shell; often termed CHITIN; see also: PRISMATIC LAYER; CALCITE; ARAGONITE; VATERITE.

CONCH-L LISTSERV   A mailing list on a LISTSERV supported by the University of Georgia (UGA). Members subscribe to "the list" to facilitate an easy exchange of emails via "posting" one email to "the list" which is distributed by the Listserve to all subscribers of the list to which the initial email was sent.

See the compilation of information about Molluscan Listserves.

CONCHOLOGIST   A specialist in the study of molluscan shells (CONCHS). A group organized to share such interests is the CONCHOLOGISTS OF AMERICA (COA). See also: MALACOLOGIST; TEUTHOLOGIST.

CONCHOLOGISTS OF AMERICA (COA)   A group organized to share interests in CONCHOLOGY and which describes itself on the COA website as a "society for shell enthusiasts from all walks of life, at all levels of interest." This organization publishes American Conchologist. See also: MALACOLOGICAL SOCIETY; SHELL CLUB.


CONCHOMETRY   [need definition]. See references:
Boycott, A.E. 1928. Conchometry. Proc. Malac. Soc. London 18:8-31.
Parodiz, J.J. 1951a. Me´todos de conquiliometry #305;´a. Physis 20(58):241–248.
Parodiz, J.J. 1973e. Gastropod conchometry. Pittsburgh Shell Club Bulletin 8:14–16.

DISSOCONCH   The postlarval shell of bivalves (and scaphopods?). See illustration: Composite Bivalve. See also: MESOCONCH; NEPIOCONCH; PRODISSOCONCH.

MESOCONCH   Part of the DISSOCONCH formed at an intermediate stage of growth and separated from earlier and later formed parts by pronounced discontinuities; see also: NEPIOCONCH; PRODISSOCONCH.

NEPIOCONCH   Earliest formed part of dissoconch, when separated from later part by pronounced discontinuity; see also: MESOCONCH; DISSOCONCH; PRODISSOCONCH.

PRODISSOCONCH   A shell secreted by the LARVA or embryo and preserved at the BEAK of some adult bivalve shells or scaphopod shells; identical with VELICONCH when larva is PELAGIC. See illustration: Composite Bivalve. See also: DISSOCONCH; MESOCONCH; NEPIOCONCH; PRODISSOCONCH I; PRODISSOCONCH II; PROTOCONCH; VELICONCH.

PRODISSOCONCH I   Earlier-formed part of prodissoconch, secreted by the SHELL GLAND of the LARVA; = PRODISSOCONCH; PROTOSTRACUM; PRODISSOCONCH II.

PRODISSOCONCH II   Later-formed part of PRODISSOCONCH, secreted by the MANTLE edge; see also: PRODISSOCONCH I.

PROTOCONCH   The LARVAL shell, formed by all the nuclear whorls, of a gastropod shell; sometimes this includes (and sometimes excludes) the earlier NUCLEAR WHORLS. See illustration: Composite Gastropod. See also: DISSOCONCH; PRODISSOCONCH; SCAPHOCONCHA; TELEOCONCH; VELICONCH; = NUCLEUS.
See Marlo Krisberg's graphic Counting Protoconch Whorls.

Photo: Acteocina atrata Mikkelsen and Mikkelsen, 1984

PSEUDOCONCH   [need definition]; present in the Cymbulidae (Opisthobranchia: Thecosomata).

QUEEN CONCH   A strombid gastropod, Strombus gigas. See also: ROLLER.

ROSTROCONCH   A member of the molluscan class Rostroconchia, a group of extinct (from the Paleozoic era) molluscs with pseudo-BIVALVED shells, as adults; probable ancestors of BIVALVES. See the Paleos website for definition, references, images, and systematics.

SCAPHOCONCHA   The secondary shell of the ECHINOSPIRA larva. See also: VELICONCH.

  The gastropod shell, apart from the NUCLEUS; = POSTNUCLEAR WHORLS; complement of the PROTOCONCH; see also: ADULT WHORLS.

VELICONCH   The shell borne by VELIGER larvae, later comprising the nucleus of the PROTOCONCH; identical with PRODISSOCONCH when larva is PELAGIC and of a bivalve or scaphopod. See also: SCAPHOCONCHA.

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