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Anatomy and systematics of the Melaniidae of eastern Africa


, : Anatomy and systematics of the Melaniidae of eastern Africa. Rev Suisse Zool 66(4): 735-759

A study of the internal anatomy of Pachymelania aurita, P. fusca, P. byronensis, Potadoma vogelii, and Cleopatra bulimnoides reveals characteristics of the digestive tract and reproductive system that have not been described in other mollusks. This study suggests that the affinities of these genera, as indicated in present classifications of the Melaniidae, are not tenable. A restudy of Melaniidae and related families is necessary. Subfamilies may be established on the basis of the internal folds of the stomach, the presence or absence of a crop and a smooth-walled elongation of the stomach. Details of the marginal folds of the stomach can possibly be used to distinguish genera. Genital characters are of interest, but since homologies of parts of different forms are not established, the use of these characters is limited. Species and subspecies are satisfactorily distinguished by the characteristics used at present.

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