Antarctic Science

Earth Sciences

Nuculidae (Bivalvia) in the Cape Melville Formation, King George Island, Antarctica, with an overview of the bivalve fauna

Rowan J. Whittlea1 c1, Fernanda Quaglioa2, J. Alistair Cramea1 and Katrin Linsea1

a1 British Antarctic Survey, NERC, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK

a2 Instituto de Geociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Lago, 562, 05508-080, São Paulo, Brazil


Nuculid bivalves of the Cape Melville Formation (Early Miocene, King George Island) are reviewed. Ten bivalve taxa are listed from the formation in the families Nuculidae (two species), Sareptidae, Malletiidae, Limopsidae (two species), Limidae, Pectinidae, Hiatellidae, and Periplomatidae. The Nuculidae consist of two species of Leionucula Quenstedt, 1930. One of these, L. melvilleana n. sp., is described and the other consists of the two species named previously by Anelli et al. (2006), which are demonstrated to be synonymous and are assigned to the species Leionucula frigida (Anelli, Rocha-Campos, Santos, Perinotto & Quaglio 2006). This assemblage, dominated by protobranchs (89% of specimens), is a typical fauna of offshore soft substrates, with a few specimens transported from hard substrates nearby. The diversity of Nuculidae has decreased in the Antarctic region through the Cenozoic.

(Received July 21 2011)

(Accepted March 29 2012)

(Online publication July 30 2012)

Key words

  • biogeography;
  • Cenozoic;
  • Southern Ocean;
  • taxonomy