Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Mode of life and behaviour of Montacuta phascolionis, a bivalve commensal with the sipunculan Phascolion strombi

J. D. Gagea1

a1 Dunstaffnage Marine Research Laboratory, Oban, Scotland

The tiny bivalve mollusc Montacuta (Tellimya) phascolionis (Dautzenberg & Fischer) belongs to the family Montacutidae, which is usually classified in a grouping of a superfamily rank, the Galeommatacea (= Erycinacea, Leptonacea or Leptonoidea) and includes many small and rather obscure species that are found associated with a wide variety of usually burrowing marine invertebrates (see Boss, 1965). M. phascolionis recently has been referred to the genus Tellimya (Chavan, 1960, 1969; Bowden & Heppell, 1968) or removed from the Montacutidae altogether and put into a new monospecific genus, Phascoliophila (Nordsieck, 1969). It is clear that a comprehensive revision of the Montacutidae is badly needed in order to establish the correct position of the present species within the family. However, the present author feels it justified in the interim to follow Ponder (1968) in recognizing Tellimya as a subgenus of Montacuta that includes the species phascolionis.